24 June 2014

Africa: High-Profile Conference On Future of Global Education in Poor Nations

Washington, D.c. — More than 600 of the world's leading experts and policy makers on global education and development, including more than 40 government ministers from across the world will gather in Brussels on June 25 and 26 for the Global Partnership for Education's Second Replenishment Pledging Conference. The event, hosted by the European Commission, is the leading forum for ideas, innovations and strategies for efforts to bring quality education to all children.

Donor nations, developing countries and other major global development actors will announce funding for global education in some of the poorest countries, and initial indications suggest that the pledges will reach several billion US dollars. The conference is the beginning of a four-year replenishment period (2015 to 2018) for the Global Partnership for Education.

"If there is ever a time for all of us to act, to boost the momentum and urgency for providing education for millions of children, now is the time", said Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia and now the board chair of the Global Partnership for Education. "This conference is the moment to make education history. We simply cannot afford to falter. Too many children from around the world are expecting so much more of us."

The conference will also offer more than 20 fora where participants will discuss challenges and opportunities for global education, including prospects and strategies for progress under the post-Millennium Development Goals development agenda.

"The most talented and experienced leaders in global education are coming together at the conference, where they will help shape the direction for global education for the coming years," said Alice Albright, CEO of the Global Partnership for Education. "That makes this a moment of enormous promise and expectation for our sector. In the spirit of our partnership approach, we're anticipating it will be buzzing with assessments of the gains we've seen over the last decade and strategies for grappling with the challenges that lie ahead."

Among the many topics the conference will address are:

- Pursuing the goals of the post-2015 global education agenda (co-convened by UNESCO and UNICEF)

- Announcement of the new out-of-school children numbers by UNESCO

- Driving greater learning outcomes for more girls

- Launching a data revolution through better collection of education data to ensure efficiency and accountability

- Educating children in fragile and conflict-affected states

- Helping developing nations devote more domestic resources to education

- Energizing efforts to educate more children with disabilities and from marginalized communities

- Empowering teachers so children learn more and better

- Exploring innovations to enhance development effectiveness

- Aligning donor finance for education with country financial systems

- Investing in early childhood education

- Engaging businesses in the pursuit of the global education agenda.

The conference will also feature a Youth Zone - where young education advocates from around the world will share their own perspectives about global education - and an Ideas Lab to brainstorm on innovations and best practices for the post-2015 development agenda.

Malala Yousafzai recently became an education advocate for the Global Partnership and the replenishment conference, speaking up for the rights of children, especially girls, to get an education. She urged governments, business and civil society to work together to fulfill the long-standing pledge of delivering education for all.

In addition to more than 40 ministers from developing and donor countries, leaders of donor development assistance agencies, and private-sector and NGO executives, participants will also include a wide range of global leaders, among them:

Augustin Ponyo, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo; Julia Gillard, Board Chair, Global Partnership for Education and former Prime Minister of Australia; Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development; Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response; Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO; Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF; Ziauddin Yousafzai, Special Advisor on Global Education and father of Malal

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