Emirates News Agency – Financing education imperative for ‘peaceful, prosperous and stable societies’: UN Secretary-General

NEW YORK, 18th September, 2022 (WAM) — Education systems around the world need “more, not less” money, the head of the United Nations (UN) told reporters on Saturday during a joint press briefing on the Transforming Education Summit and the International Finance Facility for Education.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, speaking alongside his Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, drew attention to the critical issue of innovative financing for education.

He recalled that “the world is experiencing multiple crises”, and that governments, businesses and families everywhere are feeling the financial pressure.

Moreover, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, two-thirds of countries have cut their education budgets.

“But education is the cornerstone of peaceful, prosperous and stable societies,” he stressed.

“Reducing investment virtually guarantees more serious crises later.”

The senior UN official said, “We need to put more, not less, money into education systems.

He argued that while rich countries can increase their funding from domestic sources, many developing countries are being hit by the cost of living crisis.

“They urgently need support for education”, attested António Guterres.

He then highlighted the role of the International Finance Facility for Education in securing funding for lower-middle-income countries – home to 700 million out-of-school children – and for the majority of displaced and refugee children. in the world.

The UN chief told the media that the Facility is not a new fund, but a mechanism to increase the resources available to multilateral banks to provide low-cost financing for education.

“Over time, we expect it to grow into a $10 billion facility to educate the next generation of young people,” he said.

“It will complement and work alongside existing tools, like the Global Partnership for Education, which provide grants and other forms of assistance.”

The Secretary-General congratulated his Special Envoy and all countries and institutions involved in starting the facility.

“I urge all international donors and philanthropic organizations to support it,” he said.

Earlier Saturday, Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed opened the second day of the Summit, “Day of Solutions,” by summarizing the need to transform education; equity and inclusion; rethink curricula and innovate in teaching.

“But loud and clear, we need more and better funding,” she said. “We can’t do this with fresh air, you have to refuel it.”

She described education as “a huge ecosystem” that supports many other noble goals and called for “a sense of urgency” in scaling up projects.

“No more pilot projects, we know exactly what to do,” she said. “It’s about taking steps forward.”

The three-day Education Transformation Summit kicked off yesterday at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

It began with a day of youth-led mobilization, which included contributions from the Secretary General, his Deputy and the President of the 77th General Assembly, Csaba Kőrösi.

Today, the UN chief will deliver his vision statement, alongside world leaders, in the General Assembly Hall as the Summit draws to a close.

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