UN Women Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director to attend the World Education Forum in Korea

Date: Friday, May 15, 2015

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Deputy Executive Director Yannick Glemarec will travel to Incheon, in the Republic of Korea, from 19 to 21 May, to meet with key officials and attend the World Education Forum 2015.

The year 2015 marks the deadline for achieving the six Education For All (EFA) goals and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established in 2000. Spearheaded by UNESCO and co-convened by UN Women, UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR, UNFPA and the World Bank, the World Education Forum will provide a platform to take stock of achievements and shortfalls in the implementation of the EFA goals and education-related MDGs. Its 1,500 participants will include global leaders in education, ministers, policymakers and representatives of civil society, teachers, experts and the private sector.

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will give opening remarks on 19 May, highlighting the pivotal role that education plays in empowering women and young girls and illustrating the discrimination they still face, as nearly two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women. Echoing the Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up campaign launched during CSW59, UN Women’s participation at the Forum will emphasize the need for a transformative approach for education by 2030, in sync with its clarion call for gender equality by 2030. 

Through a combination of plenary and parallel group sessions, thematic debates and side events, participants to the Forum are expected to agree on a joint position for the education goal and targets in the post-2015 development agenda, which will be adopted by UN Member States at a High-level Summit in September 2015. It will also be an opportunity for the international education community to map out how to implement these education-related goals.

As a co-convener, UN Women will highlight the gender equality perspective in education and showcase its approach and planned interventions at the country-level, while reviewing progress and bringing to bear relevant lessons from its work in other areas. Its participation will also stress the importance of providing education for girls and women, beyond merely achieving parity. UN Women will emphasize the need to ensure relevant, quality learning and skills development, and to address gender-based discrimination in education in a more comprehensive way.

On 20 May, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will chair one of six high-level thematic debates entitled: “Achieving gender equality in education and empowering women and girls: Looking ahead and planning together,” organized by UN Women with the collaboration of UNICEF, UNFPA and UNESCO.

In addition to attending the Forum, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka and Mr. Glemarec will meet with Korean and foreign government officials, including: Sang-hee Kim, Chair of the Committee of Gender Equality and Family of the National Assembly, and other members of the National Assembly; Tae-yul Cho, 2nd Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs; Heejung Kim, Minister for Gender Equality and Family; Young-mok Kim, President of the Korea International Cooperation Agency; and Bjørn Haugstad, State Secretary for Education and Research of Norway. They will also hold bilateral meetings with several private sector executives and university presidents.

Read more about UN Women’s work with both formal and non-formal education: