Briefing on the Global Thematic Consultation on Education for Post-2015

© Mamura Nasirova

By Daria Ng

NEW YORK, 7 March 2013 – On 5 March 2013, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Senegal to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Abdou Salam Diallo and the Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Guillermo Rischcynski, hosted a briefing on the “Global Thematic Consultation on Education in the Post-2015 Development Agenda” at the Office of the Permanent Observer for the African Union to the United Nations in New York.

The briefing opened with remarks from H.E. Mr. Abdou Salam Diallo and H.E. Mr. Guillermo Rischcynski, followed by the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms. Irina Bokova’s speech on lessons learned in education since 2000.

In Ms. Bokova’s speech, she outlined seven lessons learned while working on education issues from UNESCO:

- It is possible to make great advances with ambitious, clear and measurable goals.
- Education remains unfinished business.
- Strong indicators are needed on quality to measure progress.
- There is a need to focus on equity.
- Education and other policy areas need to be strongly linked.
- There is a need for strong national ownership and leadership.
- Financing for education must increase and continue to meet those in need.

        Ms. Bokova said that the post-2015 education agenda must start with equity, focus on quality, and promote global citizenship. “The world is changing, and so is education -- the global agenda must reflect these changes,” said Ms. Bokova.

        UNICEF Director of Programme Division, Dr. Nicholas Alipui, opened his speech by emphasizing the central role of human rights to our work in education as well as the importance of focusing on equity. Dr. Alipui then highlighted four key priorities emerging from the Thematic Consultation on Education. The key messages are:

        - Education must be at the heart of whatever framework is developed to replace the MDGs in 2015.
        - We must finish the job of giving all children a good quality education.
        - By focusing on the number of children in school, the Millennium Development Goals  focused too much attention on access at the expense of the quality and relevance of education. 
        - Goals and ambitions can only be achieved if there is a corresponding improvement in the governance of education.

          “UNICEF wholeheartedly agrees with the messages emerging from the consultations. It is only by pursuing these four priorities that we will ensure that all children finally achieve their rights to education,” said Dr. Alipui.

          Ms. Jamira Burle, Executive Director to the City of Philadelphia Commission on Youth and a member of the Youth Advocacy Group for the Global Education First Initiative, gave a speech on youth perspectives in the post-2015 development agenda. Sharing her own powerful story on the impact of education in her life as well as those of other Youth Advocacy Group members, she spoke about the need for “quality innovative education” that is inclusive of all children, that focuses on not just what students are taught but how, and that ensures youth have both college ready and work ready transferrable skills.

          “The biggest thing that the consultation made clear for me is that…much work has been and is continued to be done, but there is still more to do. 2015 is just that: 2015. It’s neither the beginning and can’t be the end of this work,” said Ms. Burle.

          UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, said that it is critical to have a youth-friendly post-2015 development agenda. “Youth must continue to be agents of change leading up to the Millennium Development Goals and that it is important to have youth issues represented in the final presentation of the agenda,” said Mr. Alhendawi.

          Under the auspices of the UNDG Country and Global Thematic Consultations on the post-2015 development agenda, UNESCO and UNICEF with the support of the Governments of Senegal, Canada and Germany, and the collaboration of UNDP, have convened a participatory and inclusive consultation process on Education in the post-2015 agenda to inform the development of recommendations on how best to reflect education, training and learning in the post-2015 agenda.

          On 17-18 March 2013, delegates, civil society, the private sector, academics, and youth groups will gather in Dakar, Senegal for the Global Meeting on Education in the Post 2015 Agenda over a two day period to synthesize the findings from all the preceding consultations and develop recommendations for the High Level Panel and the Open Working Group. The consultations have gathered views from thousands of people around the world.

          For the full speeches from the briefing, visit: www.worldwewant2015.org/node/315402

          To view photos from the event, visit: www.flickr.com/globaleducationfirst