‘Inclusive, equitable and quality education’ at the heart of high-level UN event
Education leaders from around the world convened today at the United Nations to discuss ways to advance action on Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.”
“Inclusive, equitable and quality education goes to the heart of the 2030 Agenda as a key enabler of sustainable development,” said Peter Thomson, President of the General Assembly, in his opening remarks at the High-level SDG Action Event on Education.
Mr. Thomson pointed out that education taps the Earth’s greatest asset, namely the inherent potential of the world’s people.
“Access to quality education is not only a goal in itself, but a fundamental building block to creating a better world of sustainable peace, prosperity and development,” he underscored.
He went on to explain that education holds the key to fuelling sustainable growth, building social cohesion and stability, and promoting human rights and equality – calling it “the golden thread that runs through all 17 SDGs.”
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed dubbed education as “the cornerstone of sustainable development.”
Ms. Mohammed maintained that the world can only be shaped by quality and relevant education, stressing the importance of investments to ensure a strong framework.
“We know when we deliver education to a young person, we’re not only delivering the knowledge and skills they will need to chart their own future — we’re preparing them to lend their hands, their mind, and their heart to shaping a more peaceful, prosperous future for their society, and indeed, for the world,” she said.
The UN deputy chief focussed specifically on the five interrelated areas of finance, innovation, girls’ education, lifelong learning, and education in humanitarian contexts.
Noting that the wealthiest children enjoy up to 18 times more public education financing than the poorest, she exhorted, “This injustice must be reversed.”
“There is no better investment in the future peace and resilience of a society than in the education of its citizens,” she stated.
As experts discussed how to advance SDG 4, the event also highlighted innovations in education through a panel discussion and a “marketplace” that showcased solutions to delivering low-cost or free learning resources to students and educators.