Paris Outcome Statement - Multilateral education partners’ commitment to joint action for SDG 4 acceleration


Under the banner of “Jointly Accelerating Progress for SDG 4”, UNESCO convened the Meeting of Principals of Global Multilateral Education Partners that took place on 4 July 2019 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

The meeting was held back to back with the G7 education ministerial meeting and attended by the Principals of UNESCO, UNICEF, the Global Partnership for Education, European Commission’s International Cooperation and Development, Education Cannot Wait and the Education Commission, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education and high officials of the World Bank, ILO and UNHCR.

Opening the meeting, the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Audrey Azoulay, underscored the urgency to act now to realise the ambitious SDG 4–Education 2030 agenda.  “We all know how far we are from achieving SDG 4. If we want to succeed, we have to multiply our efforts and undertake more coordinated collective action to support and assist countries worldwide,” she emphasized. She further stressed that the role of multilateral education partners in this endeavour is to join forces, provide leadership and common knowledge to bring the international community back on track to meet its education commitments by 2030.

In the resulting Paris Outcome Document, the participants commit themselves to maintain the strategic dialogue among the principals of multilateral education partners through a joint action platform, which will be closely linked to the SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee and contribute as a group to the latter’s multi-stakeholder consultation and coordination mechanism. They also agreed to align their work on seven priorities to improve efficiency and accountability, including joint advocacy, capacity development and data harmonization.

The Principals welcomed the proposal by Mr Gordon Brown, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, to establish the SDG global education forum among multilaterals and bilateral donors, aiming to scale up support and financing for education. The forum will be co-chaired by Ms Graça Machel (former Minister of Education of Mozambique), Mr Tharman Shanmurgaratnam (former Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore), the UNESCO Director-General and the UN Special Envoy for Global Education. The first meeting will be held, back to back with the next meeting of the Principals of Multilateral Education Partners, during the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019.

The meeting was attended by Ms Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General; Ms Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant-Director General for Education; Mr Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education; Mr Stefano Manservisi, Director-General for International Cooperation and Development of the  European Commission; Ms Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director; Ms Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education; Mr Jaime Saavedra, Head of the Global Practice of Education of the World Bank Group; Ms Yasmine Sherif, Director of the Education Cannot Wait; Ms Liesbet Steer, Director of the Education Commission; Ms Ita Sheehy, UNHCR Senior Education Advisor; Mr Oliver Liang, ILO Head of the Public and Private Services Unit; among others.