To make our planet healthier, peaceful, and sustainable, a global citizen plays a vital role within their community. They respect and value it is also an act of encouraging youths to develop the skills and knowledge they need to engage with the world. And during this process, they develop a belief system to make changes in the whole world. But what does global citizenship mean? How one can become a global citizen? What’s the role of UNESCO in global citizenship? Let’s look into this article to get answers to these questions.
What does it mean to be a ‘Global Citizen’?
A global citizen is defined as someone who is aware of and knows about their identity and their place in the wider world. It is the whole term for social, economic, and political actions of globally active people and communities on a worldwide scale. Global citizenship will allow individuals to show and embrace their responsibilities not just their own, but the betterment of the whole society in the development of a sustainable environment. As a citizen of global, people have civic responsibilities to the world rather than just their place, communities, states, or countries. So, by spreading one’s personal horizons through global learning, you are able to make changes on both small and large scales in this world.
In the era of this digital world, people are more connected with the internet and technology. And the question arises are you concerned with your community? Will you choose to be connected? What communities am I a part of? Your answers come out that consist of your family, school, college, or your neighborhood, and that’s what makes you a global citizen into the world community. And in these communities, you can share your thoughts and ideas with a friend or close ones who can help you out with any issue. However, being a global citizen means a state of being prepared to do this with people from different societies, nations, and cultural areas.
How one can become a global citizen?
You may be thinking like you have to visit different states and countries to share your contribution with them as a “global citizen”. But it's not like that, you simply can research about a country or making a connection with an immigrant neighbour, posting any issue of a particular state, or fighting for human rights makes you a global citizen. To become a global citizen, you’ll have to be active, creative, flexible, and dedicated. Here are just a few steps that help you in the process of being a global citizen.
• Stay connected with the world: Being a global citizen means identifying with a growing community and actively participating in the positive growth within the community and the whole worldwide. They must be aware of and understands the wider world to make our planet more sustainable and peaceful. Find programs and events that make you a part of their programs, for skills development and greater opportunities.
• Learning about affecting issues: As a global citizen, you must be aware of all the issues that are affecting your society. Social issues like gender inequality, unemployment, poverty, domestic violence are experienced differently across different cultures in our nation. And it involves them to research in-depth and look into how it affecting the people and environment. As a global citizen, it's your duty to look forward to this issue and be the helping hands by contributing to the eradication of those issues.
• Get more information: An informative person stands out as a leader in the whole crowd. And being a global citizen you must have a piece of great knowledge and information about a particular topic. This step involves learners finding out more about their chosen issue. It enables them to research a particular issue and investigate how it affects people globally.
• Get active: Being a part of the global community, it is very important to be active and alert all the time. All you have to do is to be active with all your mind by watching the news, reading newspapers and articles about the contemporary world. It is necessary for a global citizen to stay updated on events happening all throughout the world.
• Get educated: “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”, said the greatest Nelson Mandela. And this is so true because education provides you with the knowledge that helps you to improve the quality of your life. It can change people, locality, community, nations, and future of humanity that’s all we need in the process of global citizenship.
• Make contacts: Building contacts and making relationships is a vital part of being an active member of the global community. Make new contacts with people from your society, as well as to the different societies and cultures. And this helps you make a strong bond with them and to learn a lot from their experience.
• Travel to different places: Travelling puts you in a vulnerable state with exhibitions to new places, ideas, cultures, and people. Find programs and courses that allow you to study and live abroad, for increased knowledge and skills development. Furthermore, you will discover a lot about that particular place.
• Become a leader: A leader directs his/her team to do better in every aspect of their work and earns a lot of respect and power. And being a global citizen you have to have the qualities of a leader that helps you to get involved with the international community. To develop experience, begin to attend conferences, participate in international internships, and participate in many cultural programs.
• Learn about rights and equality: The idea of human rights allows an individual to speak up when they experience any kind of difference in society. A global community member should believe that all people are equal regardless of their caste, color, race, religion, sex, or creed. Furthermore, he/she should understand their rights and equality in the society and wherever find any discrimination can stand up for anyone or anything.
• Respect the ethics and value diversity: To be a global citizen you must understand we were born of this world so we have to look after ethics and value diversity. Also, you have to understand the interconnectedness and stand up against the injustices you see.
Global Citizenship Education-UNESCO
As a citizen of the globe, people have more connected with multiple, diverse, local, and non-local networks. In sustainable development, promoting global citizenship will allow individuals to perform their social responsibility to act for the wellness of all societies. While the world may be developing every day, inequality, poverty, discrimination, corruption, and human violations are still threatening the peace and sustainability of our surroundings. Global citizenship education (GCED) is UNESCO’S response to these challenges. It empowers the learners of all age groups to understand that these are global issues and to become active promoters of more organized citizenship, peace, innovation, human rights, and sustainable development.
The aim of UNESCO MGIEP’S flagship project ‘Global Citizenship’ is to attain the goal of the sustainable and peaceful environment as marked in SDG4, with a focus on ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. The international community has agreed to ensure that all learners acquire the learning and skills required to promote sustainable development by 2030. All the learning institutes have a responsibility to promote global citizenship by teaching their students to use their skills and knowledge to contribute to the global community.
Under the Global citizenship education (GCED), UNESCO has some special themes like education about the holocaust and genocide, languages in education, preventing violent extremism through education, and the promotion of the rule of law through global citizenship education.
To me, global citizenship simply means believe that all people are equal. It's an act of engaging yourself with and has a great willingness for the community, nations, society, and the whole world. The elements of effective global citizenship are respect and cooperation and in fact a desire to interact within and respect the whole world, and learn from them, and stand up against the discrimination that exists. And we should stick to this quote by Ernesto Arguello, “WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT INSPIRATIONS BUT ONE GOAL: A BETTER WORLD”.
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