Education events at the United Nations Summit for Sustainable Development

Stay up to date with the landmark summit in New York

Flags of member nations flying at United Nations Headquarters Credit: UN Photo/Joao Araujo Pinto.

This week in New York, the United Nations will commit to 17 new Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Education is represented in Goal 4 which aims to:

“Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

Below is a list of events related to education:

Thursday September 24th

Preparing a better world

When:8:00am - 10:00am

Education is ideally placed to provide the kind of critical awakening necessary to support the delivery of the goals. #EFF14 will help the drive towards helping the SDGs get into everybody’s mind by raising awareness of the goals though an on-line, live global debate. EFF14 will explore how we must develop behaviours that will bring the goals to life and further help unlock the aspirations that the goals have been designed to achieve.

Participants:The debate will be chaired by Gavin Dykes with specially invited guests from 11 countries and a global audience including policy makers, advisors, teachers and students #EFF14 is shaping up to be our best debate yet. Opening #EFF14 will be Carolina Belalcázar from UNESCO’s offices in Paris. Our first speaker is Karen Cator who is the President and CEO of Digital Promise. Also speaking is Tarek Shawki, the Secretary General of Presidential Specialized Councils in Egypt. Dominic Regester, Senior Schools Adviser for the British Council, will close the debate.

Friday September 25th

United Nations Sustainable Development Summit

When: September 25-27
Hashtag: #Action2015

More than 150 world leaders are expected to attend the UN Sustainable Development Summit from September 25-27 at UN headquarters in New York to formally adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda. This momentous agenda will serve as the launch pad for action by the international community and by national governments to promote shared prosperity and well-being for all over the next 15 years.

Saturday September 26th

Financing health and education: girls driving development

When: 8:00am to 9:30am

The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals will demand a more coordinated approach if we are to improve access to, and the quality of, health and education services for underserved communities – particularly girls and young women. This round table discussion between heads of state, ministers of finance, health and education and development partners will include a conversation on concrete examples of best practices between sectors.

Participants: Organized by the Global Partnership for Education, the United Nations Children's Fund, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Full list of speakers.

#EducationFirst for Sustainable Development – UN Global Education First Initiative (GEFI)

When: 3:00pm
Hashtag: #EducationFirst

World leaders will come together at GEFI’s high-level event, #EducationFirst for Sustainable Development to reaffirm their commitment to quality lifelong learning as the key to ending poverty and hunger, protecting our environment, and building more inclusive and peaceful societies.

Participants: First Lady of China and UNESCO Special Envoy for Advancing Girls' and Women's Education Peng Liyuan, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, Presidents of Croatia and the Republic of Korea Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Park Geun-Hye, and the UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown, Global Partnership for Education Board Chair Julia Gillard, Education International President Susan Hopgood, and representatives from the World Bank, GEFI Champion Countries, and GEFI’s Youth Advocacy Group.

Global Citizen Festival

When: 2:00 to 7:00 pm
Hashtag: #GlobalCitizen

World leaders will join a star-studded line up of musicians including Coldplay, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, and Pearl Jam, celebrity hosts including Stephen Colbert and Salma Hayek, and 60,000 global citizens on the great lawn of New York City's Central Park.

Sunday, September 27th

Mashable Social Good Summit

When:Sunday, September 27th11:00am - Monday, September 28th6:00pm

The Social Good Summit is a two-day conference examining the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world. Held during UN Week from September 27-28, the Social Good Summit unites a dynamic community of global leaders and grassroots activists to discuss solutions for the greatest challenges of our time.

Session 22, September 28: Just over a $1 a day can change a child's life - Julia Gillard

Monday, September 28th

#UpforSchool Town Hall

When: 1:30pm
Hashtag: #UpforSchool

Theirworld and UNICEF are joining forces to make education a priority by hosting a two-hour special event that is the culmination of a year long campaign for the #UpForSchool petition, launched last year, to get every child into school and learning and now has more than 6 million supporters. The Town Hall will include special performances, awards, and stories from education leaders and youth across the globe emphasizing the importance of education with a focus on safe schools and girl’s education.

Participants: UN Special Envoy for Education, Gordon Brown and Graça Machel.

Tuesday, September 29th

Global Conversation on the Power of Educating Adolescent Girls

When: 11:00 am – 12:30pm


Part of the Let Girls Learn Initiative, this discussion hosted by Glamour Magazine will focus on the fact that more than 62 million girls - more than half adolescent - around the world are not in school. Participants will answer questions from girls in the audience and those submitted by young girls in classrooms around the world.

Participants: First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, Global Partnership for Education Board Chair Julia Gillard, and actress and advocate Charlize Theron.

Accelerating progress in girls’ education

When: 1:00pm – 4:030pm
Register to attend:Brookings

On September 29, the Center for Universal Education at Brookings and the Clinton Foundation’s No Ceilings Initiative invite you to join a discussion on new evidence and approaches in this field. The event will provide a sneak peek of the new book What Works in Girls’ Education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment, a rigorous review of the latest evidence and strategies that work to reach the 62 million girls around the world who are without an education. It will also explore innovative models for cultivating women’s leadership in girls’ education, a crucial element for accelerating progress.

Participants: Global Partnership for Education Board Chair Julia Gillard,Founding Member of CAMA Camfed Association Fiona Mavhinga, Founder of Center for Universal Education Gene Sperling, Center for Universal Education Director Rebecca Winthrop.

The Global Partnership for Education will participate in several events through representation by our board chair <a data-cke-saved-href=" http:="""" content="" biography-julia-gillard-gpe-board-chair"="" target="_blank>Julia Gillard, CEO Alice Albright, members of our board and our partner organizations.

You can stay updated throughout the week by subscribing to our blog and news alert, connecting with us on Twitter and Facebook, following our partners’ work through our Global Education Buzz, or by tuning into the livestreams.


The Global Partnership for Education Secretariat is headquartered in Washington DC and has approximately 100 staff. The Secretariat provides administrative and operational support to all its partners including...

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