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Promoting access to quality, safe, and relevant education for all persons affected by crisis

UN General Assembly 2015 - Education Side Events

The 70th Regular Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 70) is scheduled to open at UN Headquarters on Tuesday, 15 September 2015. From 25-27 September the Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda will convene, and the General Debate of the 70th Session of the UNGA will take place from 28 September - 6 October 2015.

Below are listed, in chronological order, many of the UNGA 70 side events that are relevant to education in emergencies. If you have additional information about any of these or other relevant events, please contact us at [email protected].

Key Events

15 September 2015

Opening of the 70th session of the UNGA

Location: United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Closed to the public.

22 September 2015


Youth for Sustainable Development Goals

Hosted by SDSN Youth (of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network)

The "Youth for SDGs" event will celebrate the role of youth in shaping the post-2015 agenda and examine means of effective participation in the implementation phase. At the event, SDSN-Y will highlight activities from its ‪#‎KnowYourGoals‬ campaign, examine the role of youth in implementing the SDGs, and identify opportunities for collaboration in a shared platform for youth engagement. Presentations will be followed by a short film introducing the SDGs and a networking reception. 

Keynote speakers include: Ahmad Alhendawi, Office of the UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth; Siamak Sam Loni, Global Coordinator of SDSN Youth; Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the SDSN and the Earth Institute; and Noëlla Richard, Youth Policy Specialist at the United Nations Development Programme.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required for attendance; you must RSVP by Sep 17 if you do not have a Columbia University ID. Please send any questions to [email protected].

Location: Lerner Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY

Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


23 September 2015


The Next Generation of Development: Integrated Investments for Youth

Hosted by FHI 360, Women Deliver and Johnson and Johnson

The event will focus on how health, education, and economic investments for youth accelerate the SDGs and will feature Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Eliya Zulu, Tony Pipa, and Femi Oke.

Location: Midtown Loft, 267 5th Avenue, New York, NY

Time: 6:00 - 8:30 pm

23-24 September 2015


Third Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development

Hosted by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the Global Association of Master's in Development Practice Programs

This year’s conference theme is "Implementing the SDGs: Getting Started." The aim of the conference is to identify and share practical, evidence-based solutions that can support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will be agreed upon at the United Nations immediately following the conference. The ICSD provides a unique opportunity to bring together stakeholders from government, academia, the United Nations, international agencies, NGOs, and grassroots organizers to share practical solutions towards the achievement of more sustainable and inclusive societies.

The conference will feature Jan Eliasson, Femi Oke, Mary Robinson and Jeff Sachs.

Registration is required and can be done here.

Location: Columbia University, New York, NY

Time: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


24 September 2015


Research and Teaching in International Education and Development: New Paradigms and Perspectives in the post-2015 Era

Hosted by NORRAG, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and Teachers College, Columbia University

One day before the UN General Assembly decides on the Sustainable Development Goals, this conference will gather American, European and African experts who will contribute to a global dialogue on the future of International Education and Development Studies.

Space is limited, to request an invitation contact Ji Liu at [email protected] by 18 Sep 2015.

Location: Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY

Time: 5:30-7:30 pm


25 September 2015


Let Girls Learn Meeting

Hosted by Peace Corps

Location: The Ford Foundation, New York, NY

Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Global Leadership Network on Girls' Education

Hosted by the Brookings Institution

Location: DLA Piper LLP at 1251 Avenue of the Americas (at 50th Street)

Time: 2:30 pm - 6:00 pm


SDG Roundtable: Tackling inequalities, empowering women and girls and leaving no one behind

Hosted by the President of the General Assembly

Location: United Nations HQ

Time: 2:30 pm - 6:00 pm


Launch of Framing Perceptions Photo Exhibit

Hosted by the International Disability and Development Consortium, the International Disability Alliance, and the Mission of Korea to the UN

Location: United Nations HQ

Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


First Leadership Network Meeting of Let Girls Learn

Hosted by Brookings, UNGEI, White House, Camfed, and DFID

Location and time to be determined.


25-27 September 2015

United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda 

Resolutions 65/1 and 69/244 and decision 69/557. Plenary meetings and interactive dialogues to be held concurrently (modalities contained in resolution 69/244). See relevant documents here.

Location: United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Time: Opening ceremony 10:30 -11 am; opening session 11 am-12 pm

Closed to the public.

26 September 2015

#EducationFirst for Sustainable Development

Hosted by the United Nations Secretary General's Global Education First Initiative (GEFI)

Location: United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY - Conference Room 4 

Time: 3:00-5:00 pm

On Saturday 26 September, the United Nations Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) will hold a high level event that celebrates the achievements of GEFI and its partners in advancing the global education agenda. The event, "#EducationFirst for Sustainable Development", will provide a platform for partners, Champion Countries and Youth Advocates to meet at the UN headquarters in New York during the High Level Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will speak alongside the Heads of State from some of GEFI’s Champion Countries and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi. The event will reaffirm that inclusive and equitable, quality education for all is not only a basic human right but is at the heart of sustainable development. - See more at:

Please register via by 22 Sep 2015. For inquiries, please contact [email protected]


Prioritizing Education and Peaceful Societies: SDG 4 and 16 – In action through partnerships

Hosted by the State of Qatar, ROTA, UNDP, SaferWorld, and UNESCO

Location: United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY - Conference Room 5 

Time: 1:15 - 2:30 pm

The session will discuss the role of Arab and African youth in the popularization and implementation of the SDG's and how to ensure that Arab and African youth take ownership of the SDG's, especially SDG 4 and 16. The meeting will also dilate on lessons learnt from the attainment of MDG's and role of young people in the Middle East, with reflections from discussants from Eastern Africa, Central Africa and South Asia. 

Please RSVP: [email protected]


Financing Health and Education: Girls Driving Development

Hosted by the Global Partnership for Education, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, UNICEF, and UNAIDS

"Financing Health and Education: Girls Driving Development" will bring together high-level political representatives, including heads of state and government, ministers of finance, ministers of health, ministers of education and development partners to share concrete examples of best practice between sectors and generate proposals to ensure improved collaboration at country level.

Location: Labouisse Hall, UNICEF House - by invitation only

Time: 8:00 - 9:00 am


Accountability in the Post 2015 Era: Reaching Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent, Everywhere

Hosted by Countdown to 2015, PMNCH and the iERG

Will explore evidence of RMNCAH progress over the last five years, successes for scale up in improving RMNCAH post-2015, successes around accountability processes and recommendations on accountability structures for the post-2015 era.

Location: The Westin Hotel

Time: 8:00 - 10:00 am


Global Citizen Festival

Hosted by the Global Citizen Project

Location: Central Park, New York City



27 September 2015


Building a World That is Safer for Children

Hosted by UNICEF

Location: UNICEF House, New York, NY

Time: 8:00 - 9:00 am


Partnering to End Extreme Poverty and Achieve the SDGs

Hosted by USAID

Location: Grand Hyatt, Empire Ballroom III (109 E 42nd St)

Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


The Global Education and Leadership Foundation Conference: LIFE (Leadership Initiative For Excellence)

Hosted by the Global Education and Leadership Foundation (tGELF)

The theme of the conference is ‘Education for Leadership’. In the context of the 21st century, the entire role of leadership needs to be redefined. This can be done with right inputs in education with mere literacy not being the goal, but literacy leading to empowerment and the ability to to think and be creative and innovative.

Location: Cowins Auditorium at Teachers College, Columbia University

Time: 4:00 - 5:00 pm


28 September - 6 October 2015

General Debate of the 70th Session of the UNGA

Location: UN Headquarters, New York, NY

Closed to the public.

28 September 2015

Education: A Lifeline, Not a Luxury

Hosted by the International Rescue Committee and Dubai Cares

Location: Space is limited; please RSVP to [email protected] by September 23, and you will receive confirmation of attendance along with location details.

Time: Monday, 28 September, 8:00 - 10:30 am - Breakfast will be served

A discussion led by: 

  • Rt Hon David Miliband, IRC President and Chief Executive Officer, International Rescue Committee
  • Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Cares
  • Gideon Rose, Editor, Foreign Affairs, moderator

A new conversation must begin if we are to bring meaningful change to children’s lives: one that focuses on solutions over problems; evidence over intuition; accountability as reality, not rhetoric. One that acknowledges not only the existing funding gaps, but also the policy changes that those with influence must demand if we’re ever going to live up to our promise to children.

Please help us start this conversation. IRC and Dubai Cares welcome you to join us and a small group of leaders from both within and outside the education in emergencies field to share new ideas about what it will take to ensure that children whose lives are uprooted by conflict and disaster are able to realize their right to quality education.



Hosted by Advocates for Youth, ICRW, Let Girls Lead

Discussion with girls, moderated by Ashley Judd, whether girls' unique needs and priorities are central to the SDGs or have been again sidelined

Location: UNFPA Headquarters, 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY

Time: 10:00 - 11:30 am 


#UpForSchool Town Hall

Hosted by A World At School

The #UpForSchool Town Hall is a two-hour special event, including performances, awards, and stories from education leaders and youth across the globe emphasizing the importance of education, with a focus on safe schools, girls’ education, and the #UpForSchool petition, which will be handed in to world leaders at Town Hall. 

Location: Town Hall, New York, NY

Time: 1:30-3:30 pm


#TeachersMatter Clinton Global Initiative Topic Dinner with Nancie Atwell (winner of the 2015 Global Teacher Prize)

Hosted by the Varkey Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative

During the CGI 2015 Annual Meeting, the Varkey Foundation will host a Topic Dinner dedicated to teacher appreciation. Keynote speaker Nancie Atwell, the winner of the 2015 Global Teacher Prize, will share her personal love of literature, her innovative techniques, and the joys of teaching with participants. Additionally, a series of speakers will share their personal experiences on teachers who have changed their lives, and further illuminate the role that educators can play in influencing student development and growth.

Location: Sea Grill Restaurant, Rockefeller Center, New York, NY

Time: 7:00 pm


29 September 2015

The Global Business Coalition for Education Breakfast on Education in Emergencies

Hosted by the Global Business Coalition for Education 

This year’s annual breakfast will be devoted to how the business sector and international partners can drive forward the policy, advocacy, and delivery needed so that education is a priority during emergencies.

Location: 599 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY

Time: 7:30 - 8:45 am

To RSVP for this event, GBC-Education members should email [email protected] or correspond with the membership team.


Mobilization of Additional Resources for the SDGs

Hosted by the UAE Minister of International Cooperation and Development

Location: the Westin Hotel, New York, NY

Time: 8:00 - 10:00 am


Roundtable on Education and the Syrian Conflict

Hosted by Gordon Brown

Location: 599 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY

Time: 8:45 - 10:00 am


CGI: The Future of Girls Education

Hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative

Location: Sheraton Hotel, New York, NY

Time: 11:00 am - 12:30 pm


Educating for Citizenship in a Global World: First Ladies Dialogue on Global Education in an Interdependent World

Co-hosted by Asia Society and the Global Business Coalition for Education

The event will build upon Asia Society’s high-level dialogue on girls’ education held in September 2014, co-chaired by the First Lady of Japan Akie Abe.

Location: Asia Society Headquarters, New York, NY

Time: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm


Girls CHARGE, What Works in Girls Ed Launch, Cultivating Local Leaders Event

Hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative

Location: Sheraton Hotel, New York, NY

Time: 1:00  - 4:00 pm


Accelerating Progress in Girls' Education

Hosted by the Center for Universal Education, Brookings and the Clinton Foundation

On September 29, the Center for Universal Education at Brookings and the Clinton Foundation’s No Ceilings Initiative invite you to join a discussion on new evidence and approaches in the field of girls' education. The event will provide a sneak peek of the new book What Works in Girls’ Education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment, a rigorous review of the latest evidence, and strategies that work to reach the 62 million girls around the world who are without an education. It will also explore innovative models for cultivating women’s leadership in girls’ education, a crucial element for accelerating progress. After each discussion, panelists will take audience questions. Key participants: Julia Gillard, Terri McCullough and Cathy Russell

Location: Citi Auditorium, New York

Time: 1-4pm

Click to register for this event.


Meeting on the Education Financing Commission

Hosted by Gordon Brown

Location: 599 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY

Time: 4:00 - 5:00 pm


Connecting the Next 4 Billion

Hosted by IREX , the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and the New York Public Library

The event focuses on how inclusive access to information and technology is imperative to meet the new development agenda.

Location: New York Public Library, Wachenheim Trustees Room

Time: 5:30 - 7:30 pm

RSVP here


Echidna Global Scholars Girls’ Education Reception

Hosted by Kaycee Jennings

Location: 101 Central Park West (b/w W 70th & W 71st Streets)

Time: 6:30 - 9:00 pm



30 September 2015

High Level Breakfast: Ensuring the Inclusion of the Right to Education in Emergencies in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Hosted by the Permanent Missions of Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Norway, Portugal, Qatar and the UK to the United Nations in New York

The High-Level Breakfast event will bring together governments, UN agencies, humanitarian organizations, academia, and youth affected by humanitarian crises to propose solutions to one of our most pressing challenges and set an agenda to keep the right to education a reality for millions of children and young people worldwide. The event will consist of keynote speeches and brief comments by the Member States co-sponsoring the event, to be followed by a high-level panel. Discussants will provide constructive suggestions and comments.

Location: South Dining Room, UN HQ, New York, NY - by invitation only

Time: 8:00-10:00 am

Read a summary and watch the video webcast of this event here.