Educate All, Shape the Future

Speech held at Global Citizen Education Initiative launch.

Thank you President Kikwete for your introduction.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen

Let me start by thanking Ms. Gillard, Minister Fabiano, Ms Thorning-Schmidt, Global Citizen, Muzoon, Mr Stadler and Mr Bizzarri for ensuring that crucial stakeholders needed for a true partnership for education are represented here tonight.

Governments, young people, civil society and the private sector all play a key role in finding solutions in the field of education.

The more I learn about sustainable development, the more I am convinced that the SDGs are within reach.

As Co-chair of the UN Secretary-General’s group of SDG Advocates, I always look for the synergies between goals – where efforts in one area can bring about progress on other goals.

I find that promoting quality education has particularly clear ripple effects.

I cannot think of a single SDG that is not easier to achieve with the knowledge and skills provided by free quality education.

Investing in education, particularly for girls, is the single most effective investment we can make in sustainable development in the world.

Education is a human right that empowers girls, their families and whole societies.

Free quality education is a gift that will keep on giving – to us all.

My Government also gives priority to education in Norway’s bilateral development cooperation.

I believe that Education Minister Fabiano from Malawi can testify to that.


Today the panel has discussed why it is so important for every child and young person to access a free quality education - and why we all have a role to play.

The UN system is vital in this effort, with UNESCO playing an important normative role.

We have to be innovative in order to mobilise more funding for global education than we have today.

Norway will continue to be a top financial contributor through GPE at the next replenishment conference.

Even if the GPE replenishment reaches its target, substantial additional resources are required to ensure that education for all becomes a reality.

In this context, a “tripod” of key initiatives will mobilise more money for education, and help governments intensify their own education efforts. 

We have GPE because some poor countries have very little money to invest.

We have Education Cannot Wait because the situation is critical in areas of crisis and conflict.

And we need an International Finance Facility for Education – IFFEd – as proposed by the Education Commission and supported by the UN Secretary-General, to achieve our goal of quality education for all.

My Government has doubled its funding for global education, including our support to GPE, and we will continue to give the highest priority to education.

Here in Hamburg, my call to the G20 countries, and others, is to step up their investments in global education – for our common good.

Thank you.


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