Posted on September 29, 2015

This week, UN Member States convened at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York to ratify the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), setting a new global development agenda for the next fifteen years, following the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs, 2000-2015). Education Above All Foundation has the following statement on the occasion of the adoption of the SDGs:

The implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) presents the global community with a new window of opportunity to re-address education, and in a more comprehensive way. Despite our shared belief in the value of education to eliminate poverty and promote peace and development and the significant progress made in the past, the global community has not yet fulfilled the promise made when the MDGs were adopted fifteen years ago: that all children would one day have the opportunity to complete a primary education. Today, an estimated 58 million children remain without access to quality primary education, representing a promise unfulfilled.

During this new period we must invest in what works, identifying successful programmes in communities across the globe and scaling them up to accelerate enrolment in quality primary education. This is the model that Education Above All, a foundation established by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser (pictured) in 2012, has used with great success through its Educate A Child programme. By targeting resources to the right situations, working with the right partners and using a monitoring transparent tool, we’ve been able to carry out programs that will bring quality primary education to 6 million children in 38 countries.

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Fifteen years on from the MDGs, too many children have missed their opportunity to receive primary education. For their sake, and the sake of future generations, we must keep our promise to provide access to quality primary education for all. Provision of quality primary education for all must be the first step - the priority of the priorities - for national governments, the international community, the private sector and civil society. It is our joint responsibility to keep the promise to the world’s children and provide the foundation for the sustainable future of our world.

The new, far-reaching education goal commits the international community to provide inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels (early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational) by 2030 to all people, irrespective of sex, age, race or ethnicity. No one can be left behind. Importantly, adoption of the SDGs reflects an acknowledgment that education is a fundamental building block of a cohesive and sustainable society. Let’s start this new period of the development agenda finishing the job not yet done.