OSLO, July 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Twenty-five world leaders, including five former heads of government, will meet today in Oslo to consider vital new recommendations for financing global education and to achieve inclusive and equitable quality education for all.

The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity, (the Education Commission), chaired by the former UK Prime Minister and UN Special Envoy, Gordon Brown, and co-convened by the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, along with the Presidents of Malawi, Indonesia, Chile and the Director-General of UNESCO, will finalize recommendations ahead of its presentation to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September during the General Assembly in New York. The UN Secretary-General will receive the recommendations of the Commission and act upon them.

The work of the Commission is being closely watched around the world, and the leaders gathering in Oslo are acutely aware of the scale of the challenge. Radical shifts in technology, massive urbanization, the global mobility of labor and globalization in trade and services, mass migration, and increases in climate-induced natural disasters will demand new skills and the ability to embrace change — capabilities that only education can provide. As global spending on health has increased since 2008, spending on education has correspondingly declined. The Commissioners believe their recommendations will be crucial in helping to make education the global priority it needs to be.

Norway’s Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, said: “Reaching all children and young people with quality education may be a daunting challenge, but we can make significant progress if decision-makers step up to the plate, together with teacher unions, international organisations, the private sector, civil society and others. Investing in education means investing in society at large. If we put education first, our global society will reap significant gains in terms of development and prosperity.”

Gordon Brown added: “The United Nations and the world’s children are deeply indebted to the Norwegian Government for its commitment to and support of the Education Commission. The Oslo meeting provides the opportunity to agree on a new framework for financing global education helping us better meet the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals for education. The world’s children are looking to us. We cannot fail them.”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “The International Commission on Financing Global Education will offer solutions to mobilizing the resources that are needed. I look to the Commission to provide a roadmap, based on innovative, sustainable and practical solutions, to overcome the barriers to lifelong education and learning for all.”

For additional inquiries, please contact: Reid Lidow, +1-212-843-0368, rlidow@educationcommission.org, www.educationcommission.org.

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