Oslo to host global summit on education for development

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Norway is hosting a global summit on education for development on 6–7 July. The aim of the summit is to boost global efforts in the field of education, with a view to reaching the UN’s new set of development goals. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to attend the summit. Among those invited are heads of government and ministers from 40 countries, heads of international organisations and respected international advocates for the right to education.

‘The Millennium Development Goals have helped to ensure that the number of out-of-school children has been reduced from 100 million to 58 million. In particular, far more girls now attend primary school than was the case 15 years ago. But a great deal remains to be done – 58 million children of primary school age and 70 million young people are still out of school. In many places, the quality of the education provided is extremely poor,’ said Prime Minister Erna Solberg. 

Norway has taken the initiative to bring together key actors who can mobilise for increased political commitment to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the new Sustainable Development Goals relating to universal access to primary education and high quality schools. Prime Minister Solberg, who co-chairs the MDG Advocacy Group together with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, will open the summit. 

‘The Oslo Summit in July will bring us a step closer to the goal of all girls and boys receiving a quality education that stands them in good stead for adult life. Giving women the opportunity to have an education does not just give the individual girls concerned a better life; it can help to lift a whole village out of poverty,’ said Ms Solberg. 

‘If we are to eradicate extreme poverty, it is crucial that we increase investments in education. Without education, there can be no development. Investing in education and competence-building are also vital for addressing the employment challenges we will face in the time ahead. Six hundred million new jobs need to be created around the world in the years leading up to 2020 alone. A concerted international effort is needed to make sure that as many children and young people as possible have access to a high-quality education. Norway is playing a leading role in this work, for example by doubling its efforts in the field of global education in the years leading up to 2017,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. 

The Oslo Summit on Education for Development will aim to promote innovative partnerships, results-oriented aid and higher levels of national funding for education in developing countries. Apart from resource mobilisation, other important topics to be discussed include girls’ education, education in situations of crisis and conflict, and education quality and learning outcomes. 

The Oslo Summit is being organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown. The conclusions from the Oslo Summit will provide input for the third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa on 13–16 July and the UN summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda in September.