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Education Cannot Wait - investing in our shared humanity

World leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York this past week. At the 72nd General Assembly, renewed calls were made for our universal values that laid the foundation for the United Nations. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was at the forefront, such as ending poverty and hunger, achieving gender-equality, and ensuring justice and peace. But how do we get there?

The High-Level event on Financing the Future: Education 2030 may be the answer. It drew renewed and heightened attention to the very foundation of all Sustainable Human Development Goals. “Investing in education is the most cost effective way to drive economic development, improve skills and opportunities for young women and men, and unlock progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, passed the message loud and clear.

Education, or SDG4, which encompasses early childhood, primary and secondary education, is in fact the very foundation for all aspirations of the United Nations. Without education, all else falls away and tears apart. Without education, young adolescent men are more exposed to forcible recruitments that will produce more violent extremism and conflict. Without education girls and young women are exposed to trafficking, early child marriage and repression in all shapes and forms. Besides these tragic consequences of disrupted education, war-torn countries have no professional capacity to rebuild, no skills to pursue economic development, no ability to establish gender-equality, let alone prevent another conflict.

CIFOR

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