Global education agenda taken forward at the United Nations

published 3 July 2017 updated 20 July 2017

A high-level education event at the United Nations in New York last week was followed by a meeting by the Education 2030 Steering Committee, the body overseeing the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4.

Almost two years have passed since SDG 4 on Ensuring Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Promoting Lifelong Learning Opportunities for All, was adopted by the governments of the world. Reviewing progress in New York last week, Education International (EI)’s Deputy General Secretary, David Edwards, said:

“While we are heartened to hear the centrality of teachers, dialogue with their organisations and the consensus around implementing the Framework for Action by the Steering committee, we are equally worried by household expenditures outpacing government investment, the creeping back of fees and the fragmentation of funding commitments to education.”

But he also acknowledged the positive signals across the globe: “A bright spot it is that regional bodies and their counterparts in civil society are no longer waiting for a global signal to act affirmatively to turn their commitment to SDG 4 into action”, said Edwards, who represents Education International on the Education 2030 Steering Committee.

In her closing of the meeting, Dessima Williams, Special Adviser for Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to the President of the UN General Assembly, said that “working with teachers and education systems are key for having an impact” and encouraged governments as well as other stakeholders to keep up the good work to make SDG 4 a reality.

Education 2030 Steering Committee is the global coordination mechanism for Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) on inclusive and equitable quality education for all. It brings together member states, regional organisations, UN agencies, Education International and civil society organisations. This was the third meeting of the Education 2030 Steering Committee since the adoption of the SDGs in September 2015.