More than 130 ministers gather at UNESCO to transform education

Paris – UNESCO, the United Nations agency responsible for education, is bringing together delegations from its 193 Member States, including more than 130 ministers and deputy ministers of education, from 28 to 30 June. The participants will discuss the transformation of education systems to accelerate progress towards quality education for all.


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UN Secretary-General António Guterres has decided to place education at the heart of the discussions of the Heads of State and Government by organizing a dedicated day on 19 September in New York, on the occasion of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly with UNESCO.


In order to prepare for these discussions, UNESCO, the United Nations agency in charge of education, is holding a pre-summit from 28 to 30 June in Paris. It will bring together nearly 2,000 participants, representatives of the Organization’s Member States, including more than 100 ministers and more than 30 deputy ministers of education.


“This is an unprecedented mobilization of Ministers of Education at UNESCO headquarters, with a view to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. They call for quality education for all by 2030: much remains to be done to achieve this. We must convince all States to make education a priority,” underscored Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, who will open the ministerial discussions.


The following note-worthy individuals will also make interventions at the pre-summit:

Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia and Chair of UNESCO’s International Commission on the Future of Education
Julius Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone and Co-Chair of the UN High Level Steering Committee on Education
Amina J. Mohammed UN Deputy Secretary-General

Five key areas for action will be discussed by the pre-Summit participants with the goal of accelerating progress in education:


1. Inclusive, equitable, safe and healthy schools

2. Learning and skills for life, work and sustainable development

3. Education, teachers and the teaching profession

4. Digital learning and transformation

5. Education financing


At the end of 2021, following a wide-ranging consultation, UNESCO presented its report on The Futures of Education, setting out the steps we must take in order to transform education systems. It outlines a new social contract for education, a roadmap for reform over the next twenty-five years. The report has since served as a basis for international debate in this field and has provided guidance for discussions at national level that will feed into the events mentioned.