Every year, since 2015, approximately 55 dynamic youth leaders from across the world, gather in the beautiful city of Seoul to engage in a structured dialogue and capacity building Workshop on the leadership of Global Citizenship Education (GCED).

The sessions, spread across a tediously but fun-filled 5 days, are intentionally designed to help participants develop effective advocacy strategies that would maximize youth contribution in achieving SDG 4.7 through the promotion of global citizenship.

The Youth Leadership Workshop on GCED is organized by the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), a UNESCO category 2 Centre based in Seoul, to empower youth by providing a platform where young people can meet, share ideas, and work together to drive changes towards a Culture of Peace at various levels.

This year, members of the UNESCO-supported Pan-African Youth Network for a Culture of Peace (PAYNCoP) led by its Chairperson, took part in the workshop which held from 20 – 26 May 2018. On the side lines of the workshop, they engaged with members of the GCED Youth Network and discussed potential partnership and collaboration areas for the networks with the intention of fostering the engagement of young people around GCED, at the grassroots.

Activities of the 4th Leadership Workshop on GCED revolved around narrative building on the conceptions of global citizenship; sharing ideas and developing advocacy strategies aimed at addressing regional-specific issues around active citizenship, climate change and Peacebuilding all aligned to selected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and a Global GCED Youth Summit where participants discussed the challenges of youth towards the promotion of Global Citizenship, with representatives of Civil society organizations, private sectors leaders, intergovernmental organizations, and Media.

There were also study visits to APCEIU Global Citizen Campus which is an experiential learning space on Global Citizenship; to HEYGROUND which is an inclusive co-working environment for start-up companies or social enterprises operated and managed by Root Impact; to the 15th Seoul Eco Film Festival where participants explored the realities of climate justice and reflected on the importance of building a sustainable environment; and to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), a 2km wide area between North and South Korea which serves as a buffer zone to prevent means of provocation since 1953.

The visit to the DMZ was exceptionally important to participants especially those working on the thematic area of the Culture of Peace, because it was an opportunity to directly experience the division of Korea, think about Peace and Conflicts, and ponder about ways to build a culture of peace for a sustainable future. Nothing fosters peace like Trust, mutual respect, and History, and this is also what the DMZ embodied.

At the end of the workshop, participants made a commitment to work together on regional initiatives as advocated and provided in SDG 17 which aims to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.