The Education and Academia Stakeholder Group (EASG) organized a side event on Education for Social, Economic and Environmental Sustainability at the 2018 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) – United Nations’ central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Over 70 civil society activists, teachers, academics, government authorities and officials gathered to discuss the trends, gaps and main features of education in the context of the Sustainable Development Agenda.

Our delegates and partners highlighted current challenges, practices and discourses, which threaten the realization of SDG 4. Vernor Muñoz (Global Campaign for Education, GCE), spoke about the right to an education framework, that should not be reduced to access and provisional resources, but rather focus on the content of education. Highlights from his Powerpoint presentation “Education: an enabling human right” include:

  • Statistical improvements for years 2000 – 2017 indicate significant decrease in OOS (out of school) children from 100-120 to 64-78 million, and further reductions in adult illiteracy from 800 – 640 million
  • Free, quality education is crucial for breaking cycles of poverty and transforming societies
  • Education plays a critical role for sustainable development, and fostering citizenship by developing awareness and critical thinking (SDG4.7)
  • Education should be integrated into urban planning so that the educational needs and rights of all are met as urban populations change
“We all have the right to a good quality education, which means that the content should reach the aims of education as stated in the international human rights framework” he said.


Katarina Popovic (International Council for Adult Education, ICAE) challenged the audience with her presentation and posed the question: “What happened to lifelong learning? SDG4 on Education is only about formal education and children. We are not on track when it comes to the education and realisation of goal4. More needs to be done to fulfill the important task of contributing to the implementation of all SDG’s “ she emphasised.

Megan McHaney, introduced the Bridge 47 – Building Global Citizenshipproject, co-created and implemented by 16 European and global civil society organizations. Bridge 47, A vibrant global coalition in support of global citizenship, mobilizes global civil society to contribute to global justice and eradication of poverty through Global Citizenship Education (GCE) which underpins the implementation of SDGs.

Her compelling Powerpoint Presentation emphasised that:

  • Global citizenship education provides a framework which if we use it, can empower us to transform ourselves and the world.
  • In order for us to achieve the goals, we must rethink education and learning and provide space to establish partnerships as well as for exchange, dissemination of best practices, and coordination
  • of joint advocacy efforts.

Megan believes, that global Campaign for Education “is a framework which, if we use it, can empower us to transform ourselves and our world. Without this transformation the vision of the SDGs will not be realized.”

The speakers and participants had the chance to discuss how education contributes to breaking cycles of poverty, inequality, exclusion and transform societies for holistic advancement. While we can all acknowledge that more needs to be done to meet the looming 2030 deadline to achieve SDG goals, Global Campaign for Education (GCE) alongside partners, The Education and Academia Stakeholder Group (EASG), are playing their part, in elevating the voices of civil society at the highest level.

For further information please contact:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., International Council for Adult Education (ICAE)

Maryline Mangenot, (Global Campaign for Education)

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The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) is a civil society movement that aims to end exclusion in education. Education is a basic human right, and our mission is to make sure that governments act now to deliver the right of everyone to a free, quality, public education.