03.12.2018 - UNESCO Office in Brussels

UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education Stefania Giannini opens the First Global Education Meeting in Brussels

Brussels, 3 December 2018. The first Global Education Meeting (3-5 December 2018) since the adoption, in 2015, of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, starts today in Brussels, at Palais d’Egmont.

Organized by UNESCO in consultation with the SDG-Education2030 Steering Committee, and hosted by the Government of Belgium, the meeting focuses on the High Level Political Forum 2019 theme “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. The aim of the three-day event is to review global and regional progress towards SDG 4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.

The meeting was opened by Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, and Koen Pelleriaux, Director General of the Flemish Department of Education and Training.

“The adoption of the 2030 Agenda has compelled governments, civil society and the international community to find new ways of acting together to deliver on its promise”, said Ms Giannini. She continued by pointing out the future challenges at the global level: the need of a deep coordination among a multiplicity of actors; the need of mobilizing adequate financing to meet the scale and scope of the Agenda 2030; the need of addressing gaps related to three primary enabling conditions - human capacity, effective institutions, and last not but not least, political will. “This is a demanding agenda, but the only way to act effectively and wisely, in solidarity”, she concluded.

A special address was delivered by Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of The Netherlands, UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development, who stressed that “education is about values, and values should not be underestimated. Rather than a cost, education is an investment in the future of our society.” On these bases, she called for an improvement in national and international financing of education.

After the opening ceremony, Ms Giannini and H.H. Princess Laurentien, met bilaterally to discuss concrete joint actions to promote investment in literacy, including with the private sector.

The morning was concluded by a panel focused on the regional perspectives on SDG4, chaired by Suzanne Grant Lewis, Director of UNESCO International Institute for Education Planning. The session focused on key progress and trends for education, including priorities and policy messages such as a call for a shared approach to further finance the sector. Aida Liha Matejicek, Head of Unit on Culture, Education, Health, at European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), underlined the need to improve both international and domestic funds for education in order to face the challenges of migration flows in Europe.

Follow the three-day meeting on twitter: @UNESCOEU @Education2030UN

Photo Gallery here.

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