UNESCO makes case for investing in education at 3rd Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa

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Malian School Children in Classroom
© UN Photo/Marco Dormino
10 July 2015

Paris, 10 July—The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, will take part in the Third Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where world leaders will seek to raise funds for achieving the sustainable development goals that will be adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in September.

In Addis Ababa, the Director-General will promote the 4th sustainable development goal, which calls for inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. Ms Bokova will demonstrate what is at stake in a presentation at a side event, The Investment Case for Education, organized by UNESCO with the governments of Ethiopia, the Republic of Korea and Norway.

Ms Bokova will advocate an increase in results oriented investment and effective partnerships, arguing that such efforts bring long-term economic, social and environmental dividends.

She will be joined at the event by Ethiopia’s Education Minister, Shiferaw Shigute, Foreign Affairs Ministers from the Republic of Korea and Norway, Yun Byung-se and Børge Brende, and Global Partnership for Education Board of Directors Chair, Julia Gillard.

The sustainable development goals will set the framework for the international community’s efforts over the next 15 years. They replace the Millennium Development Goals that provided the framework for the years 2000 to 2015.

A recent study into education financing by UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report (EFA GMR) highlights the challenge facing the international community in determining how to pay for the new education goal. The study argues that the total annual cost of giving all children and adolescents in developing countries an education will rise from $149 billion to $340 billion in the time frame of the new sustainable development goals. It estimates that there will be an annual financing gap of $39 billion to provide quality education for all children and adolescents, calling for increased domestic financing and a six-fold increase in external assistance.

‘The Investment Case for Education’, will be held on Tuesday 14 July, from 10 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. at Elilly Hotel, Gada Hall, Addis Ababa.

The Director-General will also participate in a side event on the “Role of Science, Technology and Innovation for achieving sustainable development,” on 13 July from 1.:15 to 2.45 in the ECA Press Briefing Room of the Economic Commission for Africa. The event is jointly organized by the UN Interagency working group on the Technology Facilitation Mechanism comprising UNESCO, ITU, UNDESA, UNEP, UNCTAD, UNIDO, WIP and the World Bank.

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World leaders make The Investment Case for Education

UNESCO, together with the Governments of Ethiopia, Norway and the Republic of Korea, are calling for increased and more efficient financing of education to ensure no child, youth or adult is left behind. The global leaders are warning that unless efforts are scaled up, the new Sustainable Development Goal to deliver inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all will be out of reach. (more…)