UNESCO Director-General welcomes increased commitment from education stakeholders gathered at UNESCO for the G7 meeting


The Director-General welcomed the increased commitment from Ministers of Education and multilateral actors, expressed at several important events at UNESCO on 4-5 July 2019:

In its capacity of global coordinator to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda goal of universal quality education (SDG 4), UNESCO brought together major multilateral education partners (including UNICEF, World Bank, European Commission, Global Education Partnership, Education Cannot Wait, Education Commission, WHO, UNHCR, ILO...). They agreed on a common framework for action focusing on capacity building, learning outcomes, teacher training, sharing and collection of data, and financing.

This coordination meeting was held with the participation of the United Nations Special Envoy for Education, Mr Gordon Brown; Director-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) at the European Commission, Mr Stefano Manservisi; UNICEF Executive Director, Ms Henrietta Fore; President of the Global Partnership for Education, Ms Alice Albright; Director-General of the World Bank's Pole of Expertise in Education, Jaime Saavedra; Director of Education Cannot Wait, Ms Yasmine Sherif, Director of the Education Commission Ms Liesbeth as well as representatives of the World Health Organization, UNHCR and ILO, among others. Participants backed a proposal by Special Envoy Gordon Brown to organize a biannual forum co-chaired by UNESCO, bringing together international institutions and bilateral donors.

The Director-General also welcomed the increased commitment from the Ministers of Education and Development of the G7 and G5-Sahel countries, meeting under the French Presidency at UNESCO on 5 July. Their joint communiqué calls for radical changes to improve the governance of education systems, recruitment and training of teachers for quality education. UNESCO welcomes the call by Ministers to make girls' and women's education the priority for future investment at the G7 Leaders' Summit from 26 to 28 August 2019 in Biarritz, France. In particular, the new UNESCO GEM report, Building Bridges to Promote Gender Equality, presented at the meeting, shows that the number of illiterate adult women in low-income countries has increased by 20 million since 2000.

UNESCO presented its new global initiative, "Her Education, Our Future", launched at the joint G7 - UNESCO conference on innovation for the empowerment of girls and women through education. The initiative is based on three pillars: better data, better policies, better teaching and learning practices. On this occasion, UNESCO launched a new Interactive Atlas on girls’ and women’s education

These various events are part of the coordination process led by UNESCO as the United Nations lead agency for education.

The Director-General stressed the urgent need to act so that no one is left behind: "Education for girls and women is a fundamental right and an accelerator for sustainable development. It is the backbone of the entire 2030 Agenda, and without quality education for all, none of the other objectives can be achieved.

The Director-General calls on all Member States to mobilize with UNESCO for the High-Level Political Forum in New York this week and for the Summit on the SDGs at the United Nations General Assembly in September. Latest UNESCO projections from the Global Education Monitoring Report show countries are off track in meeting their education commitments for 2030, unless there is serious progress over the coming decade.