GEFI Leaflet 2014

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GEFI’s Steering Committee is a high-level body that provides strategic direction and guidance to the UN Secretary-General to ensure visibility and success of the Initiative. The UN Secretary-General invited a group of Member States to serve as ‘Champion Countries’ for GEFI. Their role is to catalyze political and financial support for education among governments. memberstatechampions.html

The YAG, comprised of young people from around the world, promotes the priorities of youth, and GEFI activities and messages. As the GEFI Secretariat, UNESCO provides overall support to the Initiative.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GEFI Twitter: @GlobalEduFirst Facebook: /GlobalEducationFirst Flickr: /GlobalEducationFirst Email:




The United Nations Global Education First Initiative (2012-2016)

“We have to keep the pressure on – because investing in education is the single best way to beat poverty, to drive growth, and to promote more inclusive and peaceful societies. There’s no better way, and that’s what this Initiative is about.” Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General and Executive Secretary of the GEFI High-Level Steering Committee

Countries, organizations or individuals wishing to engage in education-related activities can become a GEFI partner and actively contribute to meeting the priorities of the Initiative.

Find out how you can: Become a GEFI partner: Become a Champion Country: Make a commitment to global education:

Cover photo: ©UNICEF/NYHQ2006-2268/Giacomo Pirozzi

Partners include UNESCO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, World Bank, Global Partnership for Education, Educate A Child, Education International, Global Campaign for Education as well as philanthropic and business institutions.

©Oliver Jobard/SIPA

The convening power of the UN Secretary-General is a crucial factor that sets GEFI apart. The Initiative is a five-year global advocacy effort to leverage engagement at the highest political level. It is also a rallying point for partners to make commitments and mobilize resources to support global education efforts. #EducationFirst




The United Nations Secretary-General launched the five-year Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) in September 2012 to accelerate progress towards the Education for All goals and the education-related Millennium Development Goals. The Initiative aims to:

Since GEFI was launched, the collective action and power of its partners has bolstered commitment to education. Results achieved during the Initiative’s first year include:

GEFI aims to promote and prioritize education in the global development agenda, both in accelerating efforts towards 2015 and in setting the agenda post-2015. The Initiative is guided by a two-year strategic plan and action framework to:

$$ put quality, relevant and transformative education at the heart of the global development agenda; and $$ generate additional and sufficient funding for education through sustained global advocacy efforts.

Her Highness Sheikha Moza’s Educate A Child initiative helped over 600,000 out-of-school children to receive quality education in some of the world’s most challenging areas. The Framework for Business Engagement in Education, led by UNESCO, UNICEF, UN Global Compact and UN Special Envoy for Global Education, was developed aiming to encourage and guide business involvement in education.

$$ a dvocate for a broader and more ambitious vision for education at the heart of the post 2015 agenda; $$ b roaden outreach and engagement on global citizenship education with a focus on learning and teaching for sustainable development; and $$ a dvocate for closing the financing gap in education and for better funds allocation to reach the populations most in need, especially those in emergency situations. ©UNICEF/NYHQ2006-1470/Giacomo Pirozzi

$$ rally together a broad spectrum of actors for the final push to 2015;

The Learning for All Ministerial meetings, led by the UN Secretary-General, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, World Bank President and the Global Partnership for Education, brought together ministers of education and finance to address bottlenecks to access and quality of education in countries most in need.

UNESCO’s Big Push Initiative was launched, aiming to build the capacity of sub-Saharan countries to accelerate progress towards the EFA goals. The Youth Advocacy Group (YAG) has helped bring the voices of youth to the fore and actively supports GEFI’s activities. On Malala Day, over 500 young people mobilized to urge world leaders to respond to the demand for education.

“The Global Education First Initiative stems from my resolve to answer the call of parents everywhere for the schooling their children deserve—from the earliest years to adulthood. We must place education at the heart of our social, political and development agendas.” Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

Denmark, a GEFI Champion Country, sponsored an event at the UN to draw international attention to the learning crisis. The Education Cannot Wait campaign was launched as a call to action to ensure adequate funding in humanitarian emergencies and the enforcement of international laws that protect children, teachers and schools from attacks.

“Without universal education, in other words, winning the war against illiteracy and ignorance, we cannot also win the war against disease, squalor and unemployment. Without universal and high standard education we can only go so far but not far enough in breaking the cycle of poverty.” Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education

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