Education: a catalytic investment for development. AVSI High level side-event at UNGA78

September 19, AVSI in collaboration with the Permanent Missions at the UN of Italy and Nigeria, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), UNESCO and the Group of Friends for Education and Lifelong Learning, hosts an event at the United Nation Headquarters

Countries Italy
Date 12.09.2023

The international community continues to face complex challenges, including poverty, climate change, and persistent conflict and instability in many parts of the world.

The 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly marks a crucial milestone in the journey towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) agenda and the urgent need to put the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) back on track.

We will not achieve the SDGs, nor address the root causes of ongoing crises, unless we invest in education.

Education is a key driver to realizing the SDGs. Education that provides learners with relevant skills can be a powerful tool to bridge global inequities, to offer youth the possibility to become protagonists of their future and to empower their communities.

On the margins of the UN General Assembly's 2023 High-Level Week, the Permanent Italian Mission at the UN, the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the UN, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), UNESCO, the Group of Friends for Education and Lifelong Learning and AVSI Foundation are convening a discussion on the value of investing in education to build a safer, more prosperous future for all, especially children at risk of being left behind in situations of crisis.

With the Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Edmondo Cirielli, UNESCO Assistant Director General for Education Stefania Giannini, CEO of GPE Laura Frigenti, Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the UN Mons. Gabriele Caccia and the Ministers of Education of Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sierra Leone and SomaliaGiampaolo Silvestri - AVSI secretary general - will discuss about access to quality education for all the children who continue to be impacted by the challenges of conflict, political instability, poverty, and climate change.

Special attention will be given to AVSI's work in Africa, as well as GPE's mission to strengthen education systems in partner countries in the Sahel and Horn of Africa.

The discussion will contribute to ensuring that education is a critical part of the Futures Summit process, which seeks to address gaps in the SDGs and chart a path beyond 2030 to create a more peaceful and equitable society for all.

Education: A catalytic investment for development. Providing youth with the freedom to build their future

The agenda

Welcoming remarks

  • Message from H.E. Antonio Tajani, Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, read by Edmondo Cirielli, Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
  • Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director General for Education, UNESCO

Opening segment

  • H.E. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the UN
  • H.E. Berhanu Nega, Minister of Education, Ethiopia
  • Hon. Awut Deng Acuil, Minister of General Education and Instruction, South Sudan
  • H.E. Conrad Sackey, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), Sierra Leone
  • H.E. Farah Sheikh Abdulkadir, Minister of Education, Somalia

Video projection: “Experience from the field. A video-story from South Sudan”

by Davide Arcuri

Panel discussion: "Investing in education: towards a coordinated and comprehensive approach by the international community"

  • Temilade Salami, GPE Youth leader, Nigeria
  • Laura Frigenti, CEO, GPE
  • H.E. Hanchi Ketab, Director of Bilateral Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mauritania
  • Giampaolo Silvestri, Secretary General, AVSI Foundation
  • H.E. Gabriele Caccia, the Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN
  • Group of Friends for Education and Lifelong Learning, statement delivered by H.E Conrad Sackey, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Sierra Leone, on behalf of the Group

Concluding remarks

  • H.E. Edmondo Cirielli, Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

The event is moderated by Stefania Spatti, journalist at CNBC.

Event details

  • Venue: UN HQ, New York, US. Conference Room 11
  • Date/Time: 19 September 2023, 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm
  • Duration: 75 min
  • Languages: Session will be in English, Italian, and French
  • Format: By invitation only; to participate in person please register here, as you will need to receive a UN pass to attend. Moderated discussion with prepared questions. The event will be live streamed on the UN Web TV

Watch the event

A quality and inclusive education is the foundation for peaceful societies. Investing in education reduces poverty and leads to better earnings and productivity, contributing to economic growth. Equitable access to education can contribute to social cohesion and political stability. Education can promote the mutual respect, tolerance, and critical thinking needed for reconciliation. Education has a multiplier effect, with the potential to reduce global inequities, drive economic progress and build a more peaceful and stable world. This is why we must ensure all children have access to quality education, and that education continues during conflict and crises.

About the United Nations General Assembly

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) is the main policy-making organ of the United Nations. Comprising all Member States, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter of the United Nations. Each of the 193 Member States of the United Nations has an equal vote.