UNESCO Director at the Transforming Education Summit

Secretary general of the united nations ladies and gentlemen heads of state and government uh dear representatives of youth students educational communities dear friends it is a particularly symbolic moment to find ourselves here at the united nations despite the disasters happening in the world here as we are to defend the universal

Rights to education i’m proud to see amongst us many representatives of the educational community and we need to hear their voice we need their experience and i’m also so happy to see so many young people here being given such prominence at this summit thanks to your participation all your

Participation this global common good which is education is finally being accorded the position which it deserves namely it is being placed at the top of the international agenda and i would like to thank the secretary general of the united nations we should recognize the extraordinary power of education

But power which is nevertheless often under appreciated and under financed education which whenever we have placed our faith in it in teachers in schools has changed the lives of individuals of nations and of entire generations there can be no economic development and no peace without education and it is

At the heart of the mandate of unesco for 75 years since our first major literacy campaigns in the south of italy and in south korea our organization has relentlessly accompanied its member states to ensure that this fundamental right is effective and genuine whereas 400 million children were deprived

Of schools at the at the in the year 2000 20 years later that figure has decreased by 40 percent there is progress therefore but is still it is still not enough because a 40 reduction still means 244 million children that will not be going to school this year

And of course here i would like to uh take up the appeal just now issued by the secretary general and that is of the united nations and and our call for afghan girls all of them of all ages be able to go back to school it is their right [Applause]

But another aspect of this educational crisis is the fact that a lot of children that are in school even though there are more of them are not learning properly and this situation has been worsened since the educational disaster that was the kovit 19 pandemic the figures that we published last july

Together with unicef and the world bank show that although 57 percent of children uh of 10 years cannot could not understand a simple written text before the pandemic that figure has now gone up to 70 and in sub-saharan africa it’s 89 it is urgent therefore that collectively we reverse this trend

With regard to its content education cannot either be rigid or inadequate for the needs of the 21st century what is at stake in this transformation of education is fundamentally linked to the content of learning education if it is to be relevant must be adapted to our world to our century

In order to train the citizens of today but overall but above all the citizens of tomorrow this has been unesco’s guiding thought since 2018 we took this up in 2018 together with you all and we’ve put this into our report on the future of education drawn up under the leadership of madame

Sally work zodi the president of the federal republic of ethiopia and i thank her for this work this is the document as you know which is a reference document for this summit the future of education it calls upon us to place education at the heart of our plans for society at

The heart of the social contract that we are to forge to calls upon us to overcome the risk of stagnation by placing education at the heart of this new social contract adapted to the great challenges of our time and i’d like to quote here three of them

Our uh report as a living reality on the planet the digital transformation and finally peace three central topics for an education in our times and also for tomorrow excellencies ladies and gentlemen the first of these teams our relationship with nature and the need to find new responses to address climate disruption

For this education has a key role to play yet less than half of all countries truly address environmental issues in their school curricula our commitment at unesco is to support our member states so that all are able to give climate education a central place by 2025. this means for us accompanying our

Member states through this transition because it’s also a transition in education by offering concrete assistance to transform school curricula to train teachers to make educational institutions models for the rest of society to follow second the challenge of the digital era because right now this major technological and anthropological turning point is neither

Regulated nor controlled but the digital world is not an obvious world it’s not that intuitive we must therefore make it truly accessible to all ages through open educational resources so digital gaps do not widen inequalities between generations and between countries we must also teach users to master this

Digital world and to approach it with a critical mind which is what we’ve been missing in the recent years unesco is committed to this through the development of digital skills and media and information literacy third and lastly and this is the essence of unesco’s mandate education must always foster peace

It must support understanding and respect of diversity respect of others in diverse and intercon interconnected societies to this end our member states in paris have made an essential decision they have decided to reshape international doctrine on this subject and we’ve started a global conversation to reform unesco’s recommendation on

Education for peace and human rights to guide public policies in response to contemporary challenges and to do so for the long term excellencies in this interconnected world education also requires international cooperation and this is why we’re here discussing education at the heart of the u.n since last year we have collectively

Reinforced the institutional framework that guides international cooperation on education the high-level steering committee on sdg four under the auspices in unesco of unesco in paris this committee will make it possible to better coordinate the efforts of education actions in particular to monitor commitments including the commitments made at this summit

Commitments that have been prepared through international consultation supported by unesco in over 150 countries and i would like to take this opportunity to thank the president of sierra leone as co-chair of this committee for his unwavering dedication to this cause and of course of course we will also need more

Adequate funding more material more financial and human resources last november unesco convened the global education meeting where our member states adopted the paris declaration in doing so they committed to setting aside at least 15 percent of public spending or 4 percent of gdp for education compared to 3.6 points today in low-income countries

This engagement is indispensable as you know as we know that education is not a cost but the best investment there is no fairer and more effective investment than education than investing in teachers in schools than training and recruiting teachers to train them better to consider them better and this is also

What we all realized during the pandemic ladies and gentlemen we need to transform education itself if we want to transform the world the message that was brought here ahead of this summit by the young generation is very clear we need to transform education so that they can

Have the future they want i thank you very much

Remarks by Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, at the Opening segment of the Transforming Education Summit.


The Leaders Day at the Transforming Education Summit is dedicated to the presentation of National Statements of Commitment by Heads of State and Government in the form of Leaders Roundtables. A limited number of thematic sessions is held to place a focus on cross-cutting priorities for transforming education. Leaders Day features the presentation of the Summit Youth Declaration and the Secretary-General’s Vision Statement for Transforming Education.

Opening segment

  1. Introductory film
    Opening moderator: Ms Folly Ba Thibaut, Journalist and Principal Presenter, Al Jazeera
    Video: Let Me Learn campaign
  2. Opening remarks
    • Mr António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General
    • H.E. Ms Lachezara Stoeva, Permanent Representative of Bulgaria to the United Nations in New York, President of the Economic and Social Council
    • Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO
    • H.E. Ms Sahle-Work Zewde, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chair of the International Commission on the Futures of Education (video message)
    • H.E. Mr Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Co-Chair of the SDG 4 High-Level Steering Committee
  3. Youth Segment: The imperative for education transformation
    • The rights of women and girls – Joint call to action
    • Ms Vanessa Nakate, Climate Justice activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
    • Ms Yelizaveta Posivnych, Student, Saint George Academy, New York
    • Ms Somaya Faruqi, Activist and former Captain of the Afghan Girls Robotics Team
    • Ms Malala Yousafzai, 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, UN Messenger of Peace and co-founder, Malala Fund
    • Spoken word introduction of the Youth Declaration on Transforming Education
    • Mr Ulises Brengi, SDG4 Youth Network
    • Ms Karimot Odebode, Poet from Nigeria
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7 Komentar

  1. our children are not our own. they belong to the world. ???

  2. It's not enough for us to work for improvements in our own localities. We must have a global standard…. WT?

  3. Monsieur le président

  4. 🇺🇳 UNESCO 👏😊

    Countries like 🇯🇵 Japan and 🇰🇷 South Korea grew their economies enormously while maintaining distinct cultures. 👏😊

    😊👏😊👏😊👏😊👏😊👏😊

  5. Yes 🇺🇳 UNESCO 😊🌺
    You are a super hero! 👏😊

    😊👏😊👏😊👏😊👏😊👏😊

  6. This lady is doing the worst job ever.

  7. 1) UNESCO will implement climate education in member states by 2025 2) To make the digital world open to all ages. 3) Enforcing education in forging peace.

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