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UNESCO

Viet Nam hosts the Asia-Europe Meeting conference on innovative education and human resource building for sustainable development

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ASEM

Hue, 30-31 March 2017 – The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) conference initiated by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, allowed for the sharing of best practices in promoting quality and innovative education for human resource development and for the identification of needed policies and recommendations in such areas. Policymakers, government officials, businesses, youths and other stakeholders in Asia and Europe also collaborated for the integration of 21st century skills into existing educational systems.

With the participation of around 200 delegates, the conference provided a platform for the consolidation of proposals for ASEM’s new Vision for Education consisting of ASEM’s new Skills Agenda and concrete measures to equip the youth with 21st-century skills and qualities needed to achieve a skilled, adaptable and professional workforce. The two-day Conference follows the Vietnamese Prime Minister’s initiative adopted at the 11th ASEM Summit in Mongolia in July 2016 with co-sponsorship of five ASEM members: Japan, Finland, India, Indonesia, and the Republic of Korea.

Participants shared both national and international experiences through 4 plenary sessions with the delivery of 17 speeches highlighting the role of education and human resources for sustainable development; opportunities, challenges and the role of related parties; facts and lessons in Asia and Europe; and Asia-Europe cooperation in innovative education and human resources building for sustainable development.

Key issues discussed included the adoption of more comprehensive, cross-sectoral approaches in education and training; the promotion of lifelong learning in response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the strengthening of cooperation among private and public stakeholders to ensure that educational and training programmes comprise of skills for international integration. Advancement of Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education was also among the major topics discussed, with special attention to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Initiating the conference, H.E. Mr. Vu Duc Dam, Deputy Prime Minister of Viet Nam, stated that “in today’s era of science and technology, especially in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, education and high-quality human resource development are ever more essential.” Emphasizing the importance of the continuation and expansion of ASEM’s many initiatives and projects, he highlighted the need of “a generation of global citizens with a sense of responsibility not only for their community and nation but also for the common problems of the world, the future of human civilization and this planet.”

Of the keynote speakers, Dr. Gwang-Jo Kim, Director of the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, provided an overview of key economic, social and environmental conditions in the region and how education can be harnessed to tackle growing challenges. He stressed that “education is not only the key to economic development, but to social transformation for a more peaceful and sustainable world; none of the 17 SDGs can be achieved without achieving SDG4.”

Also presenting at the conference, Ms. Susan Vize, UNESCO Representative a.i to Viet Nam, shared some of UNESCO’s major initiatives and lessons learned in innovative education and high quality human capital in Viet Nam.  Initiatives drew upon the importance of ICT-pedagogy integration through policy interventions, professional development of educators, application of student-centred teaching methodologies, Media Information Literacy (MIL), Open Access Resources (OER) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

Reports and proposals approved during the conference will be used in preparations for the sixth ASEM Education Ministerial Meeting scheduled in the Republic of Korea in November; the 13th ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Myanmar in November and the 12th ASEM Summit in Belgium in 2018.

For more information, please contact: Mr. Toshiyuki Matsumoto, Education Programme Specialist, at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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