The 2009 G8 Summit was held in L’Aquila Italy from 8-10 July. Leaders of the G8 group’s member countries and the European Union were joined this year by the Heads of 20 other countries, and the Heads of 10 international organisations.
The G8 Leaders adopted a Declaration of 40 pages entitled: “Responsible Leadership for a Sustainable Future”. This Declaration included a section (paragraph 126 – 128): “Advancing towards Education for All”:
Advancing towards Education for All 126. Investing in education and skills development is crucial for a sustainable recovery from the current economic crisis and for long term development. We reaffirm the right to education for all. We favour an integrated approach to education systems, prioritizing access to and completion of quality primary education and also addressing post-primary education, vocational training and skills development, and adult literacy, according to partner countries’ specific needs. We support efforts to include educational strategies within broader development policies, in the spirit of the “Acting together” Oslo Declaration by emphasizing the principles of aid effectiveness and division of labour. 127. We remain committed to the goals of Education for All (EFA) and we welcome the progress made so far, but we recognize that decisive action is still needed. We reaffirm that no country seriously committed to EFA will be thwarted in the achievement of this goal by lack of resources. We continue to paying special attention to countries affected by conflict or crises, girls, children in rural areas, children with disabilities, working children and those living or affected by HIV/AIDS. In this perspective, governments should enhance the quality of education also through the recruitment, training, retention and better management of qualified teachers. We welcome major global campaigns to promote support for education, through international events, such as the FIFA World Cup in 2010. We welcome the creation of an international Task Force on “Teachers for EFA”, aiming to address the “teacher gap”. 128. We reiterate our support to the Education for All - Fast Track Initiative (EFA-FTI) as a good practice for aid effectiveness. We will continue to facilitate the implementation, within 2009, of the EFA/FTI’s reform process with specific attention on the most effective governance structures and financing mechanisms. This process will be based on the preliminary findings of the ongoing FTI evaluation. We, along with other donors, are committed to a unified approach, mobilizing predictable bilateral and multilateral resources in order to fulfil the financial shortfall estimated by the FTI at $1.2 billion over the coming 18 months, and to close gaps in education data, policy and capacity to accelerate action on EFA. We welcome the report submitted by our experts concerning progress on our support to EFA-FTI which shows how education contributes to the whole MDG Agenda and is a key factor in poverty reduction. We welcome the holding of the next FTI meetings in Italy in autumn 2009.
An annex to the Declaration presented a G8 Preliminary Accountability Report, including a G8 Education Experts group report: “Sharing Responsibilities to Advance Education For All”. The G8 Education Experts full report (12 pages) is also posted on the G8 Summit website. For EI senior consultant Bob Harris' initial commentary on the G8 Declaration, go to his blog. For links to the various documents mentioned above, please click on the links below.