Education International
Education International

Final push toward new UN sustainability goals begins in Paris

published 30 April 2015 updated 5 May 2015

As the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative nears completion of its mandate, the final push toward the post-2015 goals begins and all eyes turn toward the next steps of the global agenda.

When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon convened his Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) High Level Steering Committee, this week at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, it marked the beginning of the final stretch of its mandate. On schedule to run its course by September 2016, the five year advocacy project was launched by Mr. Ban Ki-moon to help put education high on the global development and political agenda and set the course toward the post-2015 education sustainability goal.

“Had it not been for education, I wouldn't have become Secretary General of the United Nations”, he said, reaffirmed the key role of education in achieving sustainable development, fighting extremism and creating opportunities for all.

In the French capital, the GEFI committee laid out possible next steps to see that the post-2015 education goal, targets and indicators have both the financing and organisation needed to see that objectives are met by the goal’s completion in 2030.

As a GEFI member, Education International (EI) President Susan Hopgood stressed to Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Mr Gordon Brown and Ms. Irina Bokova, the UNESCO Director-General, and the GEFI committee that more work needs to be done to ensure that the post-2015 goals have a chance at succeeding. She stressed the need to ensure that the new sustainable development goal on education has comprehensive targets on teachers and education financing.

“As evidence from the 2015 Education for All Global Monitoring Report clearly shows, none of the education goals will be achieved by the end of the year as promised 15 years ago,” said Hopgood. “GEFI has an important role to play to achieve this ambition and to ensure that the new education goal and its targets are implemented after their adoption.”

With the World Education Forum (WEF) set to take place later this month in Incheon, Republic of Korea, GEFI acknowledged the opportunity it still has to include input into the WEF declaration and contribute to the finalisations of the new sustainability goals to be decided at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this September.