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The Transforming Education Summit Advisory Committee convenes at UNESCO

TES advisoary committee meeting at UNESCO

On 17 March at UNESCO, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed opened the first Advisory Committee meeting for the Transformation Education Summit scheduled to take place in September 2022.  The Summit, a key initiative of Our Common Agenda, is an opportunity to renew international political commitment to education as a fundamental public good. 

Ms. Mohammed is the Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee which was established to provide strategic guidance on the substantive focus and preparations of the Summit. The group will play a central role in ensuring the success of the Summit and will provide a sounding board for the preparatory process. Its members – which represent Member States and a wide range of education partners – will provide input on key considerations and decisions related to the Summit’s vision, development, and implementation. The diverse insights and perspectives of members on both policy and political issues will help ensure the representation of different actors and communities and will help to mobilize key partners to pave the way for concrete commitments.

“We are not reinventing a new wheel, but rather intend to think through whether we have a right response to transforming education to achieve the 2030 agenda and beyond,” said Ms. Mohammed at the Advisory Committee meeting. “We are trying to inform the best outcomes and convene the best environment to have this happen, and action at national, regional and global levels.”

“Education is at a turning point: Crises and conflict are disrupting education at an unprecedented scale,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay in a video message. “For education to be effective, it must be fit for purpose. In other words, we must rethink education so that it is ahead of our time, and not behind.”  

An inter-agency Summit Secretariat hosted at UNESCO has been set up and will be led by Assistant Director-General Stefania Giannini.  “It is crucial to leverage every opportunity we have to engage and mobilize all stakeholders around the Summit and build on ongoing events and initiatives, to create a genuine global movement for education transformation. Long-term success will be measured by commitment, scaling-up and bold innovation to reach SDG 4. This is why it’s critical that the Follow-up is fully embedded in the overall roadmap of the Global Cooperation Mechanism.”

David Moinina Sangeh, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education of Sierra Leone and Co-Chair of the Transforming Education Summit Advisory Committee emphasized the importance of building from the ground up, active engagement in shaping the outcomes and aligning for the follow-up.

Earlier this month, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Leonardo Garnier from Costa Rica as his Special Adviser on the Summit. Mr. Garnier will liaise closely with the Summit Secretariat to build momentum in advance of the Summit.  He will also support the Secretary- General in consulting governments and engaging stakeholders with a view to shaping concrete and ambitious deliverables to be presented at the Summit.

The Summit will serve to mobilize action, ambition, solidarity and solutions to recover pandemic-related learning losses, reimagine education for the future and reignite global efforts to deliver the education-related Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The Summit will respond to Member State priorities and ensures active engagement of various stakeholders, particularly young people.