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European Commission


EU Development for Commissioner

EU confirms its commitment to help achieve global education

At the high-level event "Learning for All roundtable: The coordination of financing and delivery of education" / New York

25 September 2013

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Global Education First has had a great first year – thanks above all to the incredible leadership of Gordon Brown, the valuable involvement of partner countries and the inspirational commitment of activists like Malala Yousafzai. The European Union is proud to part of this initiative. It’s fitting that we’re celebrating its success during UNGA week, focusing on the MDGs and post-2015 development framework. As a member of the UN High-level Panel on post-2015, I have advocated a central role for education.

EU commitment to education and state of play

Education matters. It matters for millions of reasons: for the millions of children with little or no schooling, and the millions of adults who are illiterate.

Education is the best investment against exclusion, inequalities and poverty, and it makes good economic sense. It’s a precondition for development.

With concerted action we can deliver strong education outcomes.

Coordinating education funding and delivery

First, we must channel funding towards those countries most in need and most off-track, with action to include those children furthest outside education’s reach.

Second, we must align our support with national education plans and programming cycles. In countries like Myanmar the EU promotes joint programming with its Member States. By mapping out who does what, where, we can decrease fragmentation and increase impact.

Third, nowadays education and knowledge are truly global. We can learn anywhere, anytime, on any device. So we must foster alternative delivery methods, from non-formal provision to mobile technologies.

Lastly, we need to promote a "better science of delivery", while addressing education’s looming financing crisis. Partner governments need to take responsibility and prioritise education, backed with the right international support.

The EU will play its part in all this as a responsible donor and partner. Indeed, we are delighted to be hosting the second Replenishment Conference of the Global Partnership for Education in June 2014 in Brussels.

Thank you.

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