Vital moments for education in UN General Assembly week

Education funding, Education in emergencies, The Education Commission, United Nations General Assembly

A girl in class at Mugosie primary school in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Picture: UNESCO/M. Hofer


One year ago, world leaders came together to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals – a set of global targets to be reached by 2030.

One of those goals is to ensure that all children get an inclusive and quality education and lifelong learning opportunities.

Twelve months later, those leaders will gather again for the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York. During that year, the issue of education for every child – particularly during humanitarian emergencies – has been pushed right up the agenda thanks to relentless campaigning.

Several education-related events will be held during the week, featuring activists, politicians, celebrities, youth campaigners, NGOs and even United States President Barack Obama.

This is a huge opportunity to ensure that the international community takes urgent action to get every child into school and out of potential danger.

That includes donor countries keeping to their promises to fund education for every Syrian refugee in neighbouring countries and fully financing the Education Cannot Wait fund for education in emergencies.

Here is a rundown of some of the key education events taking place during UN General Assembly week.




The Education Commission has been conducting a year of investigations, research and consultations into how to finance and deliver quality schooling to every child in every country.

It will deliver its findings at the UN and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has promised to act on its recommendations.


The #ChildrenFirst vigil

Held by UNICEF and the Alkhayyat Foundation, the vigil will remind world leaders to put children first in their response to refugee and migrant crisis.


War Child Panel Discussion

British film star Carey Mulligan hosts a reception and panel discussion titled I’ve Moved, My Rights Haven’t on the rights of displaced children.





High-Level Meeting on Refugees and Migrants

The first time the UN General Assembly has called for a summit at the Heads of State and Government level on large movements of refugees and migrants. This is a historic opportunity to come up with a blueprint for a better international response.


Education Equity by 2030: Met by All

Hosted by the Education Equity Research Initiative, Save the Children and FHI 360, this event will focus on education equity – a measure of achievement, fairness, and opportunity in education. Moderated by Kolleen Bouchane, Policy and Advocacy Director for A World at School and our parent charity Theirworld.




Leaders summit on refugee crisis

Hosted by United States President Barack Obama. Aimed at galvanising significant new global commitments to increase funding to humanitarian appeals and international organisations, admit more refugees through resettlement or increase refugees’ self-reliance and inclusion through opportunities for education and legal work.


Education in emergencies event

INEE and Dubai Cares are holding an event about the urgent need for collect evidence on the best strategies for dealing with education in emergencies. 




Business in education

The Global Business Coalition for Education is hosting an event called Business Leads in Education: Driving Innovation and Partnership. It will focus on how the business community can use their assets, skills and leadership to play an increasing role in the delivery of education in emergencies and the broader ambitions of the Sustainable Development Goals. 


Roundtable Discussion with Sarah Brown and Julia Gillard

Sarah, President of the children’s charity Theirworld, and Julia, Board Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, will assess opportunities for business to support and invest in education.




Transforming 21st Century Education Systems

Sarah Brown (pictured below) will also be speaking at this event hosted by the Global Business Coalition for Education and the Asia Society. It will highlight examples of partnerships with the private sector that ensure innovations reach all children and youth.



More news

See all news