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Norway Ministry of Education and Research increases its support for UNESCO's work in education and ocean sustainability

14 - Life Below Water
17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Credential evaluators from ZAQA and NOKUT together with UNESCO team in Zambia, October 2021: Min Zhang (UNESCO HQ), Mwimba Mulenga (ZAQA), Stella Chipeta-Akalemwa (ZAQA), Jane Kabwe (ZAQA), Caterina Ferrera-Ruiz (UNESCO HQ), Lewis Mbinza (UNESCO Lusaka) and Marius Jensen (NOKUT). Photo credit: ZAQA.

For the third year in row, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research (MoER), increases its financial support to UNESCO’s education programme, this time with an additional contribution to support UNESCO's coordination of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) via the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

Together with a contribution of 1.5 million to UNESCO-IOC, this year’s support of 3,5 million Norwegian Kroner (USD 415,000) is the largest financial contribution for UNESCO that Norway has ever allocated to outside the annual assessed contributions, demonstrating the Ministry's continued commitment to SDG 4 and SDG 14.

The targeted focus of Norway’s contribution is two-fold: on the one hand, a focus on education, to improve policies, plans and learning opportunities to expand inclusion in education for vulnerable populations, with particular attention to persons with learning challenges, including disabilities, and to crisis-affected populations. On the other hand, a focus on ocean sustainability through the IOC programme together with other donors, to contribute to the global coordination of the United Nations major ongoing initiative to transform how we generate and use ocean science for sustainable development, the UN Ocean Decade 2021-2030.

For instance, and thanks to the financial support from the Norwegian MoER and technical support from the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT), including from other donors contributing to the above-mentioned focus through a Multi-Donor Programme, implementation of the UNESCO Qualifications Passport for Refugees and Vulnerable Migrants (UQP) is underway. The UQP was first launched in Zambia in 2019, resulting in the first UQPs issued to refugees lacking documentation of higher education and upper-secondary qualifications.

In October 2021, implementation in Zambia resumed following the lifting of sanitary restrictions, with 45 UQP candidates from the Meheba refugee settlement currently having their qualifications assessed by credential evaluators from NOKUT and the Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZAQA), supported by the UNHCR, the Commissioner for Refugees, and the Zambian Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security.

As of 2021, the programme is also being being implemented in Iraq, and UNESCO is inviting more Member States to join the programme to support refugees’ and vulnerable migrants to access further education or to finding relevant work, thus improving their self-sustainability and dignity.

From the ocean sustainability focus, the contributions from Norway and other donors have focused on providing key support to the global coordination of the UN Ocean Decade, assured by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission at the request of the UN General Assembly. This new contribution, among others, will further enhance UNESCO's ability to provide leadership to this global initiative and ensure appropriate coordination within and beyond the United Nations of contributions from various stakeholder groups, from scientific institutions to the private sector. In its first, the Ocean Decade has already endorsed over 350 Decade Actions, including global-scale programmes to revolutionize knowledge to address major global challenges from climate change to gender inequality.

More information on the UQP can be found here: https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-emergencies/qualifica...

More information about UNESCO's work on ocean sustainability can be found here: http://ioc.unesco.org