STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR MOHAMMAD AAMIR KHAN, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PAKISTAN TO THE UN, AT THE SECOND INFORMAL BRIEFING ON THE 2022 TRANSFORMING EDUCATION SUMMIT (New York, 9 March 2022)

Madam Deputy Secretary General,

1. I have the honour to make the following remarks on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

2. Let me at the outset state that the Group emphasizes the need for the Summit to be inclusive in terms of participation of Member States.

3. We would reiterate that the process should be lead by member states. In this context, we would want further clarification on the modalities of developing synergies among the work streams. We believe that the mechanism for synergizing the work streams should be harmonized to avoid duplication and produce meaningful, focused, and concise outcomes.

4. The Group welcomes the work stream of national consultations, which would be lead by Governments. We hope that the national consultation would be based on national priorities of each member states. In this context, the Group requests for further clarification on National Roadmap for Transforming Education Systems. While it is encouraging to share progress on national indicators, further details are required on the proposed process for follow-up and accountability for implementation of national roadmaps through SDG4 High Level Steering Committee.

5. The proposal to focus on specific areas requiring greater attention through Thematic Action Tracks can accelerate progress on SDG 4 on education and its related targets. These Thematic Action Tracks should be aimed at strengthening the implementation of 2030 Agenda targets and indicators.

6. The 5 thematic Action Tracks should take into consideration the priorities of the member states, and member states should be consulted in developing initial discussion papers which will be discussed at the Pre-Summit level.

7. Education is an investment that requires sustainable financing. The devastating impact of COVID-19 on the economies could increase the pre-COVID annual funding gap of US$148 billion in low and lower-middle income countries to as much as US $200 billion. While domestic financing for education is of paramount importance, there is a need for international funding to close the widening gap between resources and requirements in developing countries, least developed countries and small island states and middle-income countries.

8. The Group suggests that the Thematic Action Tracks should be convened through input from the Member States as well as input from all other relevant stakeholders.

9. The Group is of the view that the Thematic Action Tracks should inculcate the elements of digital learning and the development of online learning platforms and resources, access to quality education and lifelong learning opportunities, closing digital divide among countries, obstacles to education ranging from poverty to lack of infrastructure, accessible and inclusive education for everyone, including the girl child, children with disabilities and children living in rural areas.

Madam Deputy Secretary General,

10. The Group also requests for further information with regards to the details of stakeholders’ engagement plan being developed. Which groups will be informed and consulted during the preparations’ phase and Summit itself. We believe that equitable geographical representation of stakeholders should be ensured in the preparatory process and the Summit itself.

11. In Conclusion, G77 and China looks forward to participate and contribute actively in the preparatory process leading up to Summit. We envisage that the preparatory process, the Summit itself and the outcome would all be based on meaningful participation of member states and all relevant stakeholders.

I thank you.