Documents to download

The G20 Summit is taking place in Hamburg on 7-8 July 2017. Fostering sustainable development is one of the priorities of the current presidency of the Federal Republic of Germany. However, unlike health and women’s empowerment, promoting inclusive and quality education for all – Sustainable Development Goal 4 – does not feature explicitly in its priorities. Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called this a “gap in the G20 agenda”.

According to the UNDP:

Since 2000, there has been enormous progress in achieving the target of universal primary education. The total enrolment rate in developing regions reached 91 percent in 2015, and the worldwide number of children out of school has dropped by almost half. There has also been a dramatic increase in literacy rates, and many more girls are in school than ever before. These are all remarkable successes.

Progress has also been tough in some developing regions due to high levels of poverty, armed conflicts and other emergencies. In Western Asia and North Africa, ongoing armed conflict has seen an increase in the number of children out of school. This is a worrying trend. While Sub-Saharan Africa made the greatest progress in primary school enrolment among all developing regions – from 52 percent in 1990, up to 78 percent in 2012 – large disparities still remain. Children from the poorest households are up to four times more likely to be out of school than those of the richest households. Disparities between rural and urban areas also remain high.

Achieving inclusive and quality education for all reaffirms the belief that education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development. This goal ensures that all girls and boys complete free primary and secondary schooling by 2030. It also aims to provide equal access to affordable vocational training, to eliminate gender and wealth disparities, and achieve universal access to a quality higher education.

Claudia Costin of the World Bank has argued:

G20 leaders can help neglected and under-served children and youth by recognising and supporting the case for making smart and sustainable investments in quality education, including in middle-income countries, to break the cycle of poverty and achieve inclusive growth. Girls will need particularly strong support to transition to secondary school. This calls for championship at the highest level to ensure a coordinated effort across transport, school infrastructure and staffing, and social safety nets that reach disadvantaged families.


Documents to download