10 March 2022
UN Embarks on Preparations for Education Summit
UN Photo/Kim Haughton
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The UN Secretariat issued a note on preparatory arrangements for the Transforming Education Summit, which will include: country-led national consultations; global thematic action tracks; and public engagement.

At the end of June, the Secretariat will convene a “pre-Summit” with education ministers in Paris, France, aiming to harness findings from the Summit work streams.

On 2 March the UN Secretary-General appointed Leonardo Garnier as Special Adviser on Transforming Education to guide the preparatory process.

The UN held an informal briefing on its upcoming summit on education. The briefing provided an update for UN Member States and invited their views on the Transforming Education Summit, which is scheduled for September 2022. The summit is proposed in ‘Our Common Agenda’ as part of the focus on better representing young people and future generations.

The summit aims to provide “a moment for education to take its rightful place on the global stage, at the top of the world’s agenda,” and to reverse the current slide on SDG 4 (quality education for all), as explained by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed in remarks to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 

In February, Mohammed circulated a note on preparatory arrangements for the Summit. She said preparations will take place on three work streams:

  • Country-led national consultations to develop a shared vision and commitment to transform education by 2030;
  • Thematic action tracks at the global level to identify evidence-based, innovative solutions; and
  • Public engagement on the meaning of quality education and its place in the national social contract.

These preparations will inform the Summit Summary to be prepared by the UN Secretary-General, which will then feed into the work of the SDG4 High Level Steering Committee, preparations for the 2023 SDG Summit (the September session of the UN High-level Political Forum held under UN General Assembly auspices), and the proposed UN Summit of the Future.

Mohammed explained that preparations for the Transforming Education Summit will be guided by the 2030 Agenda, the Incheon Framework, outcomes of the UNESCO Global Education Meetings, and the November 2021 report by the International Commission on the Futures of Education. The Summit is also envisioned as leveraging the in-depth review of SDG 4 during the HLPF session in July 2022.

To support preparations, the UN Secretariat is establishing a Summit Advisory Committee composed of 11 Member States, as well as education agencies, youth representatives, and other stakeholders. Preparations also will be guided by a Special Adviser on Transforming Education. On 2 March 2022 the UN announced the appointment of Leonardo Garnier to this role. UNESCO will host a dedicated Summit Secretariat, led by UNESCO Assistant Director General Stefania Giannini. A UN task team is also being composed to mobilize support across the UN system.

At the end of June, the Secretariat will convene a “pre-Summit” with education ministers in Paris, France, aiming to harness findings from the Summit work streams.

The Our Common Agenda report responds to the September 2020 declaration on the commemoration of the UN’s 75th anniversary, and contains 90 proposals and recommendations. In November 2021, the UN General Assembly asked the Secretary-General to inform Member States and engage in consultations on his proposals for action. It also decided to hold an intergovernmental process to consider the report’s proposals. This consideration process has been under way since early February 2022. [Briefing to Member States]

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