World leaders to Oslo for Summit on Education for Development

width_650.height_300.mode_FillAreaWithCrop.pos_Default.color_WhiteNORWEGIAN PRIME MINISTER ERNA SOLBERG & UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL ENVOY FOR GLOBAL EDUCATION GORDON BROWN TO HOST MEETING OF 25 WORLD LEADERS ON JULY 4TH IN OSLO TO MAP OUT RADICAL NEW DEAL FOR GLOBAL EDUCATION

OUTCOMES OF OSLO MEETING TO BE ANNOUNCED AT 2016 UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND PRESENTED TO UN SECRETARY-GENERAL, BAN KI-MOON

A PRESS BRIEFING WITH PRIME MINISTER SOLBERG AND UN SPECIAL ENVOY GORDON BROWN WILL BE HELD IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO EDUCATION COMMISSION MEETING

Twenty-five world leaders, including five former heads of state, will meet in Oslo on July 4th to consider vital new recommendations for financing global education and to achieve inclusive and equitable quality education for all. 

Taking the lead is the Norwegian Government, which is mobilizing and focusing the international community on reaching the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular those focusing on education, that United Nations Member States have set themselves.

The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity, (the Education Commission), chaired by the former UK Prime Minister and UN Special Envoy, Gordon Brown, and co-convened by the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, along with the Presidents of Malawi, Indonesia, Chile and the Director-General of UNESCO, will finalize recommendations ahead of its presentation to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September during the General Assembly in New York. The UN Secretary-General will receive the recommendations of the Commission and act upon them.

The work of the Commission is being closely watched around the world, and the leaders gathering in Oslo are acutely aware of the scale of the challenge. Radical shifts in technology, massive urbanization, the global mobility of labor and globalization in trade and services, mass migration, and increases in climate-induced natural disasters will demand new skills and the ability to embrace change — capabilities that only education can provide. As global spending on health has increased since 2008, spending on education has correspondingly declined. The Commissioners believe their recommendations will be crucial in helping to make education the global priority it needs to be.

Ahead of the meeting, Norway’s Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, said: “Reaching all children and young people with quality education may be a daunting challenge, but we can make significant progress if decision-makers step up to the plate, together with teacher unions, international organisations, the private sector, civil society and others. Investing in education means investing in society at large. If we put education first, our global society will reap significant gains in terms of development and prosperity”.

UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown added: “The United Nations and the world’s children are deeply indebted to the Norwegian Government for its commitment to and support of the Education Commission. The Oslo meeting provides the opportunity to agree on a new framework for financing global education helping us better meet the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals for education. The world’s children are looking to us. We cannot fail them.”

The former President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón added: “Education and innovation are key. We must not rely on the highly educated poles of development such as Silicon Valley and Oxford; we need innovation to be widespread and grown locally to address local problems and detect local opportunities. The only way to spark these processes is by supporting education in all corners of our world.”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has previously commented: “The International Commission on Financing Global Education will offer solutions to mobilizing the resources that are needed. I look to the Commission to provide a roadmap, based on innovative, sustainable and practical solutions, to overcome the barriers to lifelong education and learning for all.”

A number of global leaders serving as Commissioners will be present for the Oslo meeting and could be available for interview. These include: Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Gordon Brown, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Felipe Calderón, Kristin Clemet, Julia Gillard, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Baela Raza Jamil, Jakaya Kikwete, Ju-Ho Lee, Graça Machel, Strive Masiyiwa, Teopista Birungi Mayanja, Patricio Meller, Kailash Satyarthi, Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Theo Sowa. A full list of Commissioners may be found on the Education Commission’s website: www.educationcommission.org.