“The Education 2030 Framework highlights that Governments, the private sector and global multi-stakeholder organizations, civil society, teachers, educators, and youth -- all have vital roles to play in planning, implementing and monitoring SDG4,” stated the Director-General.
“Partnerships are the only way to accelerate progress and gain impact from acting together,” continued Irina Bokova, recalling the invaluable support of UNESCO’s Special Envoy, Her Highness Sheikha Moza, through the Education Above All Foundation.
She made specific reference to UNESCO's new agreement with Education above All to expand schooling for girls in Pakistan, as well as projects already implemented in Iraq.
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar Mr Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraiki emphasised the centrality of education, innovation and research in the country's national strategy, noting that education must be transformed to meet present and future demands, an endeavour demanding collaboration and sharing of best practice.
Ms Amina Mohamed, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kenya, drew attention to measures such as free primary education, affirmative action in secondary education and digital literacy programs, noting the role of partnership, including with UNESCO, in implementation and achieving progress. "Partnership is the best way to harness the demographic dividend for our young generation," she said.
The High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations, Mr Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, highlighted the importance of partnerships to empower youth with intercultural competences and skills for media and information literacy for youth.
UNICEF Executive Director Tony Lake cautioned that "partnership is not an end in itself, it is a means to achieve results." In a context of competition for resources he advocated to unite efforts, leverage different strengths and move ahead together.
The Director-General emphasized that "the 2030 Agenda offers new impetus, and I believe achieving the ambitious education goal is a unique opportunity to strengthen partnerships at every level and across all. We must unlock and combine the full range of our collective resources and strengths to support the common goal of “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.”
Emphasis was placed throughout the event on collaboration over competition and new partnership models. The event gathered a wide range of players, including Education Above All, Save the Children, Islamic Development Bank, KOICA, World Bank and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.