The overarching mandate
The COVID-19 pandemic has been the most profound and universal disruption of education in history, impacting global trends in education and education systems worldwide.
UNESCO is an active champion of SDG 4, constantly strengthening national and global commitments around education, in the wake of pressing global issues, such as peace, climate change, pandemics and digitalization.
UNESCO has continually raised visibility and ascertained the centrality of education for all the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It paves the way for increased political will to ensure every child and young person goes to school and learns. Above all, it strives to protect education and the lifelong learning approach.
To this end, UNESCO has expressly formulated the Global Education Cooperation Mechanism (GCM) focusing on concerted SDG 4 action.
The Global Education Cooperation Mechanism
The GCM builds on the 2015 Incheon Declaration and Education 2030 Framework for Action, which envisaged a cooperation and monitoring mechanism with the Global Education Meeting (GEM) at its centre.
The GCM is best understood as the ecosystem consisting of all global education actors that participate in the Global Education Meeting and have agreed to work cooperatively in support of SDG 4. It also comprises the joint platforms and initiatives developed by those global education actors in pursuit of SDG 4.
At the heart of the GCM is the commitment to a shared global education goal and the incentives for stronger collective action and joint accountability to achieve this goal.
The GCM creates an environment of greater unity to act more effectively, better mobilize existing partners and initiatives.
The SDG 4 Education 2030 High-Level Steering Committee (HLSC)
This global multi-stakeholder mechanism for education in the 2030 Agenda, is the governance engine for the GCM – the High-Level Steering Committee (HLSC). Its representation is at the highest level to provide it with power to take strategic decisions and action for education (2022-2023 members). All global education actors have agreed, at the Global Education Meetings organised by UNESCO, to work cooperatively in support of SDG 4.
One of the key roles of the HLSC is to ensure the systematic alignment of approaches for education-related targets within the wider United Nations SDG structure. The HLSC engages with the wider United Nations SDG structure at global and regional levels.
At the global level, the HLSC provides inputs for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda through United Nations processes, including the High-Level Political Forum.
As the apex body for global coordination and monitoring of SDG 4, the HLSC is responsible for the follow up of the Transforming Education Summit, including contributing to the education dimension of the Summit of the Future in 2023. It will continue to monitor progress, promote and facilitate knowledge and practice exchange, engage youth, and champion cross-sector and multilateral cooperation.
At the regional level, the HLSC interacts with regional organizations, SDG 4 coordination groups, and other partners to ensure a more harmonized support for implementation, monitoring and review of Education 2030.
Members of HLSC
- Chaired by H.E. Julius Maada Bio, the President of Sierra Leone and Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO’s Director General, HLSC aims to speed country-level progress towards SDG 4. It consists of a Leadership Group composed of 28 members of which 18 represent the 6 regions of the world, with two countries and one inter-governmental regional organization per region.
- Members of HLSC (2022-2023)
Members of the HLSC from Asia and the Pacific Region
H.E. Dr. Dipu Moni M.P., Minister of Education of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
H.E. Mr. Khondker Mohammad Talha, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Bangladesh to UNESCO
Video statement from the Global Education Meeting 2021
H.E. Mr Huai Jinpeng, Minister of Education of the People's Republic of China
Mr Qin Changwei, Secretary-General, Chinese National Commission for UNESCO
Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO)
H.E. Mr Chan Chung Sing, Minister of Education Singapore and SEAMEO Council President
Dr Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela, Director, SEAMEO Secretariat