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Education at the Millennium Development Goals Summit, 20-22 September

Preparations are well under way for the High-Level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (United Nations, New York, 20-22 September 2010) which aim to halve the rate of extreme poverty in the world by 2015.

The eight goals set worldwide objectives for a wide range of issues from maternal health to combating HIV and AIDS. Although goal three specifically targets universal primary education, UNESCO argues that without education, none of the MDG targets can be reached.

“A quality inclusive education for all is the key to achieving each and every one of the Millennium Development Goals, from reducing poverty to improving health, empowering women and ensuring environmental sustainability,” asserts Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s Director-General. Ms Bokova is expected to attend the MDG Summit along with some 100 Heads of State and Government as well as leaders from the private sector, foundations and civil society organizations. 

With only five years left until the 2015 deadline, the MDG Summit offers the international community a chance to review successes, identify obstacles, and suggest ways to accelerate progress to achieving these international targets.

For UNESCO the MDG Summit is an opportunity to mobilize increased political support for the achievement of not only the MDGs, but also the EFA goals. The Organization intends to promote education more broadly as the way to achieve the MDGs through stressing the need for a holistic approach to education. 

In this respect, the UNESCO Education Sector is launching a website on Education and the MDGs which explains how education can help achieve them. The Sector is also organizing an exhibition at UN Headquarters during the summit to drive home the same message. 

The MDG Report 2010 confirms that there has been a massive gain in primary school enrolment, though challenges remain in reaching the most marginalized populations. Overall progress in all the goals has been severely impacted by economic troubles. 


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