Statement by Julia Gillard, Board Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, on the G20 commitment on education

Julia Gillard and Wongani Nyirenda at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, July 6, 2017. Credit: GPE/Sally-Anne Henfry

As Chair of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), I welcome the G20 commitment to step up financing for education and to make education a pillar of the next G20 summit in 2018.

The G20 Leaders Declaration: Shaping an Interconnected World emphasizes the importance of education in achieving sustainability, women’s empowerment, bridging the digital divide and boosting employment.

President Mauricio Macri of Argentina reaffirmed education will be a signature of his country’s presidency of the G20 in 2018 and that “nothing is more important for our future than education.”

The night before the G20 summit, I shared the stage at the Global Citizen concert with 14-year-old Wongani from Malawi, who called on the G20 leaders to help him and his friends complete their schooling. President Macri, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg, former UK Prime Minister and UN Special Envoy for Education Gordon Brown, and singer and activist Shakira also spoke on stage about the importance of education.

The historic recognition of education in the G20 communique, including the role of GPE, Education Cannot Wait and an international financing facility for education, is the result of a growing movement by civil society organizations and high profile advocates for increased investment in education.

In early 2018 GPE will hold a replenishment conference to raise funds that will help the education of up to 870 million children living in 89 countries.

GPE aims to be a US$2 billion per year organization by 2020, and is seeking donor contributions for 2018 to 2020 to strengthen education systems and improve learning, efficiency and equity so that all children and youth are equipped to work and thrive in the 21st century.

Julia Gillard and Wongani Nyirenda at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, July 6, 2017. Credit: GPE/Sally-Anne Henfry
Financing, SDG 4

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