In support of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative, delivering quality education and learning for all children and youth by the 2015 goal was the focus of a series of events in Washington, DC the week of the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings. While much progress had been made, much more needed to be done to make Education for All a reality.
NYU Washington, DC was happy to host two events at the Abramson Family Auditorium on April 17, 2013: the Youth Global Video Conference and The 1,000-Day Countdown - Delivering to Meet the 2015 Goals. These events were held with the support of Gordon Brown, the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and NYU’s first Distinguished Global Leader-in-Residence.
The week brought together the ministers of education and finance from some of the countries with the highest burden of out-of-school children and also convene civil society, NGOs, youth and international institutions to agree to accelerate progress toward in the final sprint to 2015. The high-level culminating event was the Learning for All Ministerial meeting held at the World Bank, co-hosted by President Kim, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown. Background notes for these meetings were prepared through a country-based consultation process engaging government, civil society and international institutions.
In collaboration with the U.S. Global Campaign for Education, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education will host a video conference between young people in Nigeria and the Youth Advocacy Group for Global Education First. Washington, D.C. Area students will also be invited to attend the event and share their perspectives about what needs to be done to accelerate progress in education.
This series of events for civil society was hosted by the UN Special Envoy for Global Education with various civil society organizations and international institutions. These outcomes-oriented events focused on three cross-cutting issues which left unaddressed would prevent achievement of the 2015 education goals.
Reaching the Marginalized in the Final 1,000 Days
Globally, around 1 in 3 young women were married before the age of 18. If present trends continue, an estimated 142 million girls will be married by their 18th birthday by 2020. These girls will lose out on the opportunity that primary and secondary school can give them. We know that combating child marriage keeps young and adolescent girls in school. We also know that girls with secondary schooling are up to six times less likely to marry as children.
Building upon the international advocacy work led by Girls Not Brides and partner organizations, a road map for how to end child marriage through both international action and national level action will be announced. Other organizations and actors will be called on to support this plan of action. Participating organizations will be called on to make statement of commitment about what they intend to do, or are already doing, to end child marriage.
The quantity and quality of teachers, as well as the attractiveness of the teaching profession, are three barriers to reaching the Millennium Development Goals on education and Education for All goals. In order to reach the goal of all children in school and learning well by 2015, and to ensure equity, the most committed and talented individuals must elect to enter the teaching profession and be supported to work in the most marginalized areas. And to ensure children and youth in these areas have equal opportunity, they deserve teachers with have good working conditions, adequate tools and the proper training to do more than merely deliver instruction, but instead teach for understanding, problem solving and creativity.
Global teacher shortages project a shortfall of 2 million teachers to be able to reach the global goals by 2015. The lack of trained teacher populations is most pronounced in rural areas and areas affected by conflict – estimated at over one million. Moreover, adequate systems to prepare teachers and provide support and mentorship during their career inhibit larger-scale teacher quality. While some countries have designed financial and non-financial incentives to support teachers and deploy them into some of the most difficult areas, more needs to be done.
This session will aim to develop a “new deal on teachers” to help deploy teachers where they are needed by developing a support network and incentive fund, professional development opportunities, teacher-led accountability boards, and harnessing online learning and mobile technology at a large scale. New developments in technology and mobile phones, and by working with organizations like Education International, the Global Partnership for Education, the Global Campaign for Education, and UNESCO, this session will lay out a plan to rapidly scale up teacher incentives and professional development opportunities and ask organizations to commit to taking action prior to the September UN General Assembly.
Millions of children around the world are the victims of slavery, whether this is forced labor, trafficking, domestic abuse, or child prostitution. The persistence of child exploitation around the world and the absence of opportunity deny children their right to a decent education. Their childhood is completely lost, their innocence destroyed and their potential thwarted. The problem is global and so is the solution.
Global change and policy commitment to abolish child slavery will not happen without high-level political commitment, backed by governments, business, NGOs and an active contribution from civil society. Although efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor have increased, as highlighted by the ILO, progress on ending child slavery as a whole has been much slower.
One of the most effective means of combatting all forms of child slavery is through education. Our goal is to see the millions of children, who are subjected to various forms of slavery and denied an education, being given the opportunity to go to school and to begin to rehabilitate their lives. We will use this meeting to further build on the ILO-led roadmap and call on a new global commitment through the United Nations to scale up progress towards the 2015 Millennium Development Goals, and set out a three-year strategy towards a plan of action to achieve our education goals.
Gordon Brown is the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and Member of Parliament for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.
He is Chair of the Policy and Initiatives Board of the World Economic Forum and also serves as a Global Fellow of New York University as well as the Chancellor of Adam Smith College in Kirkcaldy. He is on the Board of Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web Foundation and is Patron of the Burma Campaign. He has recently completed a research project on globalisation and education at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2010 and is widely credited with preventing a second Great Depression through his stewardship of the 2009 London G20 summit. He was one of the first leaders during the global crisis to initiate calls for global financial action, while introducing a range of rescue measures in the UK.
In April 2009, he hosted the G20 Summit in London where world leaders committed to make an additional $1.1 trillion available to help the world economy through the crisis and restore credit, growth and jobs. They also pledged to strengthen financial supervision and regulation.
Previously, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997 to 2007, making him the longest-serving Chancellor in modern history. During ten years at the Treasury, Gordon masterminded many of Labour’s proudest achievements including the Minimum Wage, Sure Start, the Winter Fuel Allowance, the Child Trust Fund, the Child Tax Credit and paid paternity leave. His record on global justice includes his negotiation of debt cancellation for the world’s poorest nations and the tripling of the budget for life-saving aid. His time as Chancellor was also marked by major reform of Britain’s monetary and fiscal policy as well as the sustained investment in health, education and overseas aid.
His role in government continued to shape his views on the importance of education as a fundamental right of every child in the world and the key to unlocking better health, greater social stability, more rights and opportunities for women and a higher standard of living. He is a passionate advocate for global action to ensure education for all and co-chairs a High Level Panel on Global Education with Graça Machel. In his role as UN Special Envoy for Global Education, he works closely with key partners to help galvanise support for the UN’s Global Initiative on Education, Education First, which aims to achieve quality, relevance, and inclusive education for every child.
Gordon is the author of several books including Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation and a forthcoming work 2025: Shaping a New Future.
Gordon has a PhD in History from the University of Edinburgh and spent his early career working as a lecturer. He was elected to Parliament in 1983 and continues to hold his seat. He is married to Sarah Brown, the Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education, and the couple live in London and Fife, Scotland with their two sons, John and Fraser.
Sarah Brown’s work brings together the worlds of business, philanthropy, social media and charity campaigning.
As the founding Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education, Founder and President of the international children’s charity PiggyBankKids, Co-Founder of the Maternal Mortality Campaign and Global Patron of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, Sarah provides strategic leadership to worldwide efforts to save and change the lives of women and children. Her contribution has been recognised with the Vision and Impact Award from the Global Business Coalition for Health, an Honorary Fellowship from Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Recognition Award from the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics.
In the course of her work on women’s health, Sarah has addressed the World Health Assembly’s Annual General Meeting and the International Confederation of Midwives and chaired a United Nations Special Meeting that heralded the end of healthcare user fees for pregnant women in 16 countries. Sarah’s deep commitment to the health of pregnant women and newborns led to her founding PiggyBankKids, an international children’s charity which administers the Jennifer Brown Research Fund, established in memory of Sarah and Gordon’s first child.
As Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education she is steering the first private sector CEOs and foundation directors’ delegations to meet with government leaders in India and Nigeria. Founding members of the Coalition include the Chairman/CEOs of Tata, Grupo Carso, Dangote Industries, Econet Wireless, McKinsey, Accenture, Discovery, Pearson, Western Union and Reed Smith.
She previously was Managing Director of one of Britain’s most dynamic independent communications companies and subsequently led a global arts PR firm. A passionate advocate of women’s leadership, Sarah’s corporate involvement continued as Patron of the CBI First Women Awards to honour women in the boardroom and at the helm of Britain’s successful start ups and growing businesses. Sarah is also a Non-Executive Director of Harrods Group (Holding) Limited.
She is the author of best-selling book Behind the Black Door and regularly rallies her million plus twitter followers (as @SarahBrownUK) in support of its central message: whatever platform you have in life, you can always use it to make a difference. She tweets in support of the many charities she is involved with including those she serves as a patron; Women’s Aid, Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres an dSHINE Education Trust.
Sarah spent part of her early life in Tanzania in East Africa, before going to school in London and then studying Psychology at Bristol University. Sarah lives in London and Scotland with her husband, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Member of Parliament Gordon Brown, and their two sons John and Fraser.