UNESCO-UNEVOC: 20 Years of Action
On 8 April 2022, the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is celebrating its 20th anniversary in Bonn, Germany. To mark the occasion, a virtual photo exhibition and timeline of highlights have been compiled to showcase UNESCO-UNEVOC’s efforts to promote quality TVET around the world.
The origins of UNESCO-UNEVOC can be traced back to UNESCO’s First International Congress on the Development of Technical and Vocational Education held in 1987 in Berlin, Germany. The congress recommended setting up an international centre for research and development in technical and vocational education. In 1993, the Director-General of UNESCO established the UNESCO-UNEVOC Implementation Unit in Berlin with the support of the Government of Germany. In subsequent years, UNESCO Member States passed a resolution to transform the Implementation Unit into an International Centre. This led to the signing of a host country agreement with Germany in 2000 and the official inauguration of UNESCO-UNEVOC at the UN Bonn Campus in 2002.
Since then, UNESCO-UNEVOC has operated as UNESCO’s only specialized centre for TVET and the coordinator of the global UNEVOC Network of more than 220 TVET institutions in over 140 countries. Its guiding mission is to support Member States in their efforts to strengthen and upgrade their TVET systems.
At the heart of UNESCO-UNEVOC’s programmes, projects and activities is Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. UNESCO-UNEVOC’s work also contributes to the achievement of the SDGs focused on poverty reduction (SDG 1), gender equality (SDG 5), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), climate action (SDG 13), and global partnerships (SDG 17).
During his speech to mark the 20th anniversary, Friedrich Huebler, Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC, thanked the City of Bonn for its hospitality and expressed appreciation for the generous support of the Federal Government of Germany, particularly through the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Mr Huebler reassured TVET institutions that “they can count on the support of UNESCO-UNEVOC in the next phase of their journey”.
In the coming years, the expectations placed on TVET to drive socio-economic change and ensure sustainable transitions will be even greater. UNESCO-UNEVOC, in collaboration with its partners and the UNEVOC Network, stands ready to shape responsive TVET systems that equip youth and adults with the relevant skills for the future.