When global leaders in education descend on Europe’s capital this week, they’ll be bringing their cheque books with them, ready to make some hefty financial contributions to see that education for all becomes a reality.
From the 25th to the 26th of June more than 600 attendees from around the world will be in Brussels, Belgium to attend the Global Partnership for Education’s (GPE) second Replenishment Pledging Conference to tackle the future of education.
Improving quality and increasing accessibility, especially to those living in the world’s most venerable areas, will be the focus of panel debates, discussion groups, and bilateral meetings. Of course, with replenishment being the top item on the agenda, how to finance education post-2015 will have all eyes on the pledges, which the GPE is looking to kick-start its 2015-2018 funding drive.
Alice Albright, CEO of the GPE, has her sights set on raising $3.5 billion (2.5 billion Euros) from donors in order to adequately fund projects in developing countries. With the list of attendees resembling that of a United Nations General Assembly and a global trade summit, Albright’s expectations will be high.
Current and former prime ministers, government ministers, and the heads of international organisations will all be gathering at the table to make their contributions.
The eclectic group will include the likes of former Prime Ministers, such as Australia’s Julia Gillard, Board Chair of the GPE, and the UK’s Gordon Brown, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, to the Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, the Head of the World Bank, Jim Kim, and possibly the current prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Augustin Matata Ponyo.
Education International (EI) will also be well represented at the conference, with experts on four panels to ensure teachers’ voices are part of the debates.
On Thursday, June 26th, EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen will be among those to step to the podium to make a pledge on behalf of EI, contributing both financial and project support toward achieving EFA targets, as well as initiatives for affiliates in hard hit regions.
The inaugural GPE replenishment took place in Copenhagen in 20011, which brought together countries, international and civil society organisations, and the private sector to fund a target of $2.5 billion (1.8 billion Euros.)