The Global Partnership for Education Board of Directors met in Brussels on June 7 and 8, 2023. The Chair opened the Board meeting with a special welcome to the youth observer, Neha Ullah. The Chair thanked the Board of Directors for their commitment to the Global Partnership for Education and reiterated the Board's role in setting the strategic vision for the partnership.
On the first day, the Board of Directors concentrated on the operational aspects of GPE, and approved decisions on foreign exchange management, strategic capabilities, and the adaptations to the operating model. The Board also approved the Trustee budget and the Secretariat's operating budget and staffing plan for the fiscal year 2024.
A set of adaptations to the operating model were proposed by the Secretariat to the Board after consultations with partners across GPE. The Board members provided crucial feedback and thanked the Secretariat for the work done to date in making the operating model more flexible and responsive to context. In order to allow deeper review of the proposed adaptations, the Board requested that a special session of the Performance, Impact and Learning Committee be convened in late June followed by an extraordinary virtual Board session to finalize the decision.
On the second day, the Board turned its attention to strategic discussions on key thematic issues. First the Board discussed the collective commitment of partners on gender equality. They heard from several constituencies in a lively panel session followed by an open discussion where the Board heard calls for attention to gender equality in and through education in relation to access, content, teaching and learning context and practices, learning outcomes, and life and work opportunities, as well as what is needed to prepare education systems and educators for the next generation of gender issues.
Next, the Board heard an update on GPE's current efforts to support climate resilience and environmental sustainability in education systems. The Board heard remarks from the United Arab Emirates about how education will be featured at COP28, and also heard testimonies from partner countries on the frontlines of climate change.
Following this, the Board had an open discussion on the role and future direction of GPE in addressing climate impacts in and through education, both at country level and globally through engagement in political advocacy. The last session of the Board meeting focused on education, peace and security. The Board heard interventions presenting emerging research from the Institute for Economics and Peace, and from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Board representatives from four partner countries then shared their experiences, followed by a discussion on the many facets of this topic. The Board concluded Day 2 with a clear call for strategic discussions on these and other topics to be a part of future Board meetings.
The Board Chair closed the session with thanks to everyone and announced that the December Board meeting will be held in Zanzibar.