United Nations Literacy Decade

United Nations Literacy Decade

The United Nations Literacy Decade - Education for All (2003-2012), was launched at UN Headquarters on 13 February 2003. It is spearheaded by UNESCO, as the lead agency for the Decade.

The decade was formally proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in a resolution passed in December 2001.UN document |docid=A-RES-56-116 |type=Resolution |body=General Assembly |session=56 |resolution_number=116 |accessdate=2008-08-23|date=19 December 2001|title=United Nations Literacy Decade: education for all] following a report on the proposal submitted by the Secretary-General.UN document |docid=A-56-114 |type=Document |body=General Assembly |session=56 |document_number=114 |accessdate=2008-08-23|title=Draft proposal and plan for a United Nations literacy decade|date=20 June 2001]

"Literacy as Freedom" is the theme of the Decade. The United Nations Literacy Decade expresses the collective will of the international community to promote a literate environment for all, girls and boys, women and men in both developing and developed countries. The Decade was established for three reasons:

1) On a global scale, one in five adults cannot read nor write. According to the latest estimates, 774 million people are illiterate and two-thirds of these are women. In a modern world, such levels are unacceptable.2) Literacy is a human right. Basic education, within which literacy is the key learning tool, was recognised as a human right over 50 years ago, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This right continues to be violated for a large proportion of humanity.3) Literacy efforts up to now have proved inadequate, at national and international levels. The Decade is an opportunity to make a sustained collective effort which will go beyond one-shot programmes or campaigns.

In response to these factors, efforts undertaken during the Decade are to target the poorest and most marginal social groups (including women) and to accompany initiatives to reduce poverty. According to the draft proposal and plan for the UNLD, “Literacy policies and programmes today require going beyond the limited view of literacy that has dominated in the past. Literacy for all requires a renewed vision of literacy….” In order to survive in today‘s globalized world, it has become necessary for everyone to learn new forms of literacy and to develop the ability to locate, evaluate and effectively use information in a variety of ways.


ee also

* International Literacy Year

External links

* [http://www.unesco.org/education/litdecade UN Literacy Decade - Official Site]

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