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Statement on outcomes of the 2018 Global Education Meeting (GEM) by Education Above All

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Education Above All (EAA) Foundation, speaking at the end of the 2018 Global Education Meeting (GEM) in Brussels as a member of the Steering Committee Group for SDG4, has reinforced the criticality of placing education at the centre of efforts to drive the wider SDG 2030 agenda, and joined fellow representatives in supporting the next High-Level Policy Forum's focus on concerted collective action towards inclusion, equity and the right to education for all.

The GEM is the first major meetup to address global progress towards SDG4 since the Incheon Declaration in 2015. At that time, EAA's Chairperson Sheikha Moza called on the global development community to tackle the issue of out of school children holistically - by working to understand the many, and varied, barriers that often impact on a child's ability to access education.

Since then, EAA has continued to contribute to SDG4's achievement, including through joining the SDG4-2030 Steering Committee, which has its Secretariat at UNESCO.

During a high-level panel discussion organised by EAA, UNESCO. and UNHCR at the GEM the foundation advocated for a global drive to foster agreements on recognising across-borders, the educational achievements of those who have had to flee their homes or have chosen to migrate to another country.

EAA, through its work on the ground in over 50 countries, has seen the devastating impact of how current systems unfairly impact refugee and migrants when they cannot produce documentation that validates their past educational achievements, or their certificates are not accepted; yet ample instances exist that demonstrate the effectiveness of accrediting educational achievements in higher education. These examples of co-operation should serve as a blueprint for certifying attainment and skills at other levels of the education system too.

EAA also spoke on the subject of migration, forced displacement, and education, where he stressed the importance of countries working together to develop ways and means to recognise prior learning and skills at all levels and modes of education across national boundaries.

EAA also congratulated UNESCO and UNHCR for their work with EAA on issuing a policy paper and convening the meeting.