The need for universal education occupied centre-stage in Prof. Hans van Ginkels
keynote address. Much has been discussed at various forums as well as mentioned in Agenda
21 but it is important to assess how the recommendations can be implemented at the
He made three conceptual remarks.
are optical distortions associated with what we see. What we see is our interpretation of
how we want to see/understand it. The difficult task is to see reality in a
multi-dimensional perspective, more so for global processes.
Complexity There are no simple solutions
to complex issues. The key is to think of interlinkages, like those between globalization,
poverty, development, and environment on one level and multilateral environmental
agreements at another. It is the synergy and consistency between these on which there is
lack of consensus.
Subsidiarity This refers to too much
belief on what can be achieved at the WSSD. There is a need to clearly identify what needs
to be done at the global level and what lies in national/local domains.
Laying thrust on all forms of education systems is
critical. Understanding of concerns of sustainability is not haphazard; there exists a
pool of knowledge and experience to draw upon. The challenge is reaching the large section
of people outside the ambit of formal and/or regular education systems.
Capacity building has two distinct
dimensionsimproving qualifications of individuals and building institutional
It is recommended that governance structures be flexible to
take into account the realities of decision making in distinct global and local levels of
society. Also, at one end, there is impending need for creating regional centres of
excellence and networking amongst them, while at the other end, there is requirement of
commitment from the people themselves to bring about a change in the core curriculum at
various levels of education towards sustainable development.