NEW YORK, July 6, 2017/ — Addressing an energized audience of tens of thousands at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Education Commission Chair Gordon Brown and Commissioner Shakira Mebarak made an urgent appeal for world leaders to put education on the agenda at this year’s summit.
Following a first-ever joint performance alongside Coldplay, Shakira took to the stage and said: “We need to greatly increase investment in education as it is key to breaking the cycle of poverty in which millions and millions are trapped. Today, we have a solution in the form of an international financing facility seeking support from the G20.”
Brown joined Shakira and added: “So let us send the message to the G20: education cannot wait. Fund schools for refugee children so that they have hope. Finance the Global Partnership for Education so they can help poor countries prosper. And create, as Shakira has just said, the new International Facility for Education.”
Their calls to action are urgent. Should present global education financing trends continue, by 2030, more than 800 million young people – half of the world’s youth population – will lack basic qualifications to succeed in the workplace. Included in this figure are 200 million children who will not be in school and another 400 million that will go without primary-level skills. To help close the gap, the Commission has proposed an International Finance Facility for Education that can create up to $10 billion (USD) in additional annual funding for education.
Also on stage were Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg, a convening member of the Commission, and Julia Gillard, GPE Chair and a Commissioner. Solberg expressed confidence that “together we can build a learning generation by 2030” as Gillard impelled the audience to “tell your governments to fund education and shape the future.” Fellow Commissioners Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO of Save the Children, and Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, also addressed the audience.
Launched in 2015, the Commission is a major global initiative engaging world leaders, policy makers and researchers to develop a compelling investment case and financing pathway for achieving equal educational opportunity for children and youth.
The Commission is chaired by Gordon Brown, guided by 26 high-level members and co-convened by Norway, Chile, Indonesia, Malawi and UNESCO.
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Photo, courtesy Global Citizen: Backstage at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany on July 6, 2017 (from left to right): Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina; Juliana Awada, First Lady of Argentina; Julia Gillard, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education; Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway; Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO of Save the Children International; Shakira Mebarak, International Artist; Wongani Nyirenda, Education Advocate; Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education.