The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) welcomes the Summit of the Future (SOFT), as a significant step, facilitated by the governments of Namibia and Germany, to strengthen international cooperation to build better opportunities for present and future generations.

GCE has been intensively engaged to provide critical inputs to the SOFT programme and to the draft political outcomes, such as the Pact for the Future.

The eleven policy briefs informing the SOFT, provide an analysis of the proposal's impact on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, integrating a strategic vision on the necessary solutions to more effectively deliver for the people and planet. These briefs were issued by the UN Secretary-General at the invitation of Member States. One of the policy briefs is on Transforming Education which argued that “Education is also key to predicting, preventing and managing future risks.” 

GCE considers this high-level initiative as valuable and relevant, to the extent that it reinforces the state obligations established by the international human rights law. We are also convinced that the implementation of the summit’s agreements will require effective monitoring and follow-up mechanisms; therefore, we call on the United Nations to strengthen accountability measures for countries that hinder the advancement of human rights.

Unfortunately, the Summit’s program does not include the right to education among its chapters, and its reference in the draft Pact for the Future is superficial and insufficient. It is imperative to acknowledge that education is a catalyser of the Sustainable Development agenda and also a tool to transform people who will change the world.

The scope and approaches proposed for the SOFT should include education transformations, including the indispensable role of teachers in shaping the future. Only in this way is there a guarantee of building lasting change, because peace is not achieved by exhortation, but by example. This is why it is very regrettable that education continues to play a marginal role in the themes of the summit and that key drivers for development are postponed. Certainly, human rights-based education and lifelong learning is the primary condition for development and for overcoming all forms of discrimination, gender inequality and violence.

The transformation of education is not an end in itself but is aimed at enabling people to transform the dynamics of dehumanising and abusive power that poison people's minds from early childhood. Thus, it will be very difficult to transform global governance in the medium and long term, and even more so, to achieve international peace and security, if the structural causes are not addressed through education.

Share this article

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.