January 29, 2020: The Federation’s representative to UNESCO in Paris has secured a central
role for the Minister of Education, Honourable Shawn Richards at the UNESCO World
Conference on Education for Sustainable Development to be held in Berlin in June, 2020.
One education minister from each SIDS region will be invited to participate in this
important strategic conference, organised by UNESCO in cooperation with and generously
supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany, and with the German
Commission for UNESCO as advisory partner.
At an information briefing meeting held at UNESCO in Paris on 24 th January, 2020, attended by
UNESCO ambassadors, UNESCO education experts and NGOs, the St. Kitts and Nevis
Ambassador to UNESCO, Dr. David Doyle, commended the long-standing support of Germany
and UNESCO in treating SIDS as a priority group at the same level as LDCs and lower middle
He stated that few SIDS education ministers had the resources to attend this important
conference: “Education for sustainable development constitutes a critical priority for small
islands, transcending the Pacific, Caribbean, and Indian Ocean, and indeed goes to the centre of
national development strategies of these vulnerable states facing daily challenges related
to climate change”.
He went on to assert, “One minister should be invited to represent each of the four SIDS regions
to actively participate in the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable
The proposal, vigorously backed by the Ambassador of the Seychelles, H.E. Louis Sylvestre
Radegone, current President of the SIDS Committee at UNESCO, was carried forward.
The Honourable Shawn Richards, St. Kitts and Nevis Minister responsible for Education, Youth,
Sports and Culture, will thus attend the Berlin conference and speak on behalf of the Caribbean.
education ministers during the 2 nd to 4 th June, 2020. One education minister from each of the
SIDS regions will also have a representational role at the conference, drawn for the Pacific,
Indian Ocean and the SIDS off the African continent, Cape Verde and São Tomé e Príncipe.
Their presence at the conference will enable SIDS to offer responses to the multiple climate-
change induced challenges facing small islands. As one of the 17 Sustainable Development
Goals for 2030, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) goal supports efforts to equip
learners with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed to contribute to a more inclusive,
just, peaceful and sustainable world. In 2017, the UN General Assembly reaffirmed UNESCO’s
role as the lead agency on ESD in its Resolution 72/222 and recognized ESD as 'an integral
element of the SDG on quality education and a key enabler of all the other SDGs'.
To further enhance ESD efforts, UNESCO launched the new framework 'Education for
Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the SDGs' (ESD for 2030)1 and its roadmap for
implementation at the Berlin conference.
Representatives from the SIDS regions will be called upon to speak about their political
commitment to ESD for 2030 and how they intend for it to be implemented, with special
emphasis on national-level implementation/national initiatives.
Minister Richards noted: “Education for sustainable development is central to our government’s
ongoing strategy by incorporating a range of values and knowledge, at all levels of the
Federation’s academic structure, that contributes to raising awareness and promoting
sustainable development of our twin-island state”.