Teaching the Sustainable Development Goals: encouraging young students to tackle the 2030 Agenda

In line with the Sustainable Development Goal number 17: "Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development" the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna organized a workshop for teachers in cooperation with the University of Teachers Education in Vienna (Pädagogische Hochschule Wien) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Office in Austria.

The aim of the workshop was to provide teachers with useful resources to be able to bring the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goals closer to their students. On 23 November, 24 teachers from Vienna attended the workshop on "Teaching the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)" and visited the United Nations Office at Vienna.

The participants started off with a guided tour of the Vienna International Centre (VIC) to get a detailed insight into the UN, its history and the work done in Vienna. Afterwards UNIS Vienna presented a wide range of teaching resources for the respective Sustainable Development Goals, offered by UNIS Vienna and other UN organizations. The teaching tools are available online and can easily be used by teachers to help young people to understand the importance of sustainable development. When finding out about Goal number 14 (Life below water) the teachers received a nice surprise. The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) generously gave teaching material including the Danube Box, puzzles and bags for all participants. The Danube Box is an education toolkit available in several languages and country versions to assist teachers in bringing the Danube and water protection closer to the minds of future generations.

The teachers highly appreciated hearing about the various resources available: "Now with all the material we received I will start to enlarge upon goal number 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. I teach Social Management and Sociology and the teaching material developed by UNIS is very good and offers an effective way to elaborate the themes peace and war with my students," explained one of theparticipants of the UNIS teachers workshop.

The workshop programme also provided an introduction to the UNIS Visitors Service and its offers for school classes. The teachers found out about the different tours such as the Sustainable Development Tour or the Human Rights Tour that they can book for their classes.

The last point on the workshop programme was a presentation on "Refugees protection" by the UNHCR Office in Austria with an overview of the current situation of refugees in Europe and an introduction to available teaching material.

Overall the participants were very grateful about the variety of resources and hands-on teaching material that had been presented. At the end of an inspiring day at the VIC a teacher for civic education said: "Gender equality is very important but sometimes we are lacking understanding of this topic among our students. I will be using some activities from UNICEF that were presented today to educate my students about equal opportunities for both sexes." She also liked the Sustainable Development Tour because it is important for students to understand what they can do to reduce their energy consumption.