Education International
Education International

Our moment to celebrate

published 25 September 2015 updated 29 September 2015

Colleagues, in just a few hours I will address the UN for the opening of the Sustainable Development Goals Summit in New York. This is set to be the UN General Assembly that brings together most world leaders in one place in history – and it should be.

They are about to adopt the most ambitious development agenda we have ever seen. These generational goals are going to guide our actions and set our future for the next 15 years, until 2030.

I have the opportunity and honour to speak on behalf of both the labour movement and of the education community – and of our teachers and education support workers. Our struggle is proof of perseverance in the face of challenges to workers’ rights and to quality education.

Education International has led the way to this moment. Not long ago an education goal was far from certain, but today it is reality, thanks to the relentless advocacy work EI affiliates have been engaged in over the last two years, through the Unite for Quality Education Campaign and beyond. Education is at the foundation of equality, gender rights, children’s rights, and is essential to building the world we want for the future; one where future generations can live harmoniously environmentally and economically.

Amid all of the fanfare in New York, with the heads of state and government and the Papal visit, we must not forget why we are here. This is our moment to proclaim victory for all workers and students. But let us acknowledge our success while we prepare for the work ahead to make sure that these goals were not made in vain, and that governments take their implementation seriously in the coming 15 years.

Susan Hopgood

President Education International

Watch Susan Hopgood address the UNGA live on UN TV here: http://webtv.un.org

To follow the debates around the Sustainable Development Goals, use the Twitter hashtags #unite4ed, #globalgoals and #action2015