Video message from Ms Irina Bokova,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I wish to thank the National Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO and the government of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Region for organizing this International Conference on Education for Sustainable Development.
On a planet under pressure, education is the most powerful way to shape new ways of thinking and acting, to build resilient societies able to adapt to change and mitigate its impact.
This idea guides the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development that UNESCO leads.
Together, we are working to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to make informed choices and responsible decisions.
To this end, we are working to reorient educational programmes, to train teachers in education for sustainable development, and to raise awareness among young people and adults.
Our goal is to empower all citizens to act for positive environmental and social change.
We are actively preparing with Japan the 2014 Conference on Education for Sustainable Development that will close the United Nations Decade.
Together, we must take stock of the Decade and set out future directions of work, in line with the post-2015 global development agenda.
The 2012 Rio+20 Conference gave education for sustainable development a strong boost – we must build on this, to set an ambitious agenda that makes the most of the transformational power of education.
This International Conference in Khanty-Mansiysk is an opportunity to start the process of learning lessons and drawing conclusions.
The stakes are high – to bring about change, we need to develop new ways of thinking and new ways of acting.
Let me thank each of you for your commitment to this goal.
I wish you a successful conference.