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

UNGA 2016 - Education Side Events

The 71th Regular Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 71) is scheduled to open at UN Headquarters on Tuesday, 13 September 2016. On Monday, 19 September, the UNGA will hold a High-level meeting to address the large movements of refugees and migrants: UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants.

The General Debate of the 71st session of the General Assembly will follow from 20-29 September, with the theme: "The Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform our world".

Below are listed, in chronological order, many of the UNGA 71 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].

Another listing of education and youth-related events around UNGA can be found here.

And another listing of UNGA side events - not exclusively about education - can be found here.

Key Events

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Opening of the 71st session of the UNGA

Location: United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Closed to the public.


Wednesday, 14 September 2016


Member State Briefing: Education Cannot Wait

Co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of Lebanon, Norway and the United Kingdom

A Member State briefing will take place on Education Cannot Wait- A Fund for Education in Emergencies at the Permanent Mission of Norway to the UN in New York. This briefing serves to provide an overview of the latest information on Education Cannot Wait ahead of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, including:

  • Providing an overview of ECW as a new mechanism for funding education for children and youth in emergencies and conflict, including refugees;
  • How ECW can contribute to the UN High Level Meeting meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants and the Leaders’ Summit on refugees;
  • Addressing any questions from missions.

Location: Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations, 825 3rd Avenue, entrance at 50th Street, 38th floor,New York, NY

Time: 10:30am - 11:30am

 For questions, contact [email protected]


Friday, 16 September 2016


Digital Education for Refugees

Organized by Al-Fanar Media, Open Society Foundations, and the Ford Foundation

We hope this event, building on previous workshops held in the Middle East that have focused on advancing more local solutions to providing education to refugee youth, will more widely engage those working in online education to bring their experience to bear on the refugee population. We particularly want Arab-region participants working in online education to help sharpen the ideas for solutions. Confirmed participants in the workshop include representatives of UNHCR, the Norwegian Refugee Council, InZone, Edraak, and the MIT Media Lab.

Space is limited and participation is by invitation only. Contact [email protected] for more details.

Sunday, 18 September 2016


Education Commission Report Launch

Education Commission

Convened in Oslo in 2015, the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity—theEducation Commission—was tasked with developing a renewed and compelling investment case and financing pathway for achieving equal educational opportunity for children and young people.

After a year of research and input from hundreds through consultations, the Education Commission will release its report in New York, an agenda for action to close the skills gap around the world by 2030. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will receive the report and education agenda for action by the commission.


Location: United Nations Headquarters - 46th Street and 1st Ave

Time: 4:00pm - 6:00pm (arrive at 3:00pm)



I've Moved, My Rights Haven't'

War Child UK Global Ambassador Carey Mulligan

At a critical juncture for global action to support the 17,000 children who are forced to flee every day, our event seeks to raise the profile of this critical issue and secure increased political commitment to the rights of displaced children. This will be an interactive, solution-focused and engaging event, with a panel of dynamic experts across government, the UN and civil society.

Keynote speakers: Carey Mulligan, Global Ambassador, War Child UK and PritiPatel, UK Secretary of State for International Development (tbc)

Panellists include: 

  • Rob Williams OBE, CEO War Child UK
  • Anne-Marie Grey, COO of USA for UNHCR and Executive Director of Partnership for Refugees 
  • Leila Zerrougui, UN Secretary General's Special Representative on Children Affected by Armed Conflict
  • Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation
  • Salim Salama, UN Secretary General’s Youth Envoy on Peace and Security
  • Tanya Steele, CEO Save the Children UK

Location: Scandinavia House in Manhattan, New York (Park & 37th)

Time: 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Participation is by invitation only. Contact [email protected]


Carry Light for Children

UNICEF & Alkhayyat Foundation

A vigil to remind world leaders to put children first in their response to refugee and migrant crisis.

Location: Dag Hammarskjold Plaza,  East 47th Street - between UN and and 2nd Ave

Time: 6:30pm - 7:30pm

[email protected] ASAP


World’s Largest Lesson

To achieve the vision of the Global Goals adopted in September 2015, young people must know about them to take action, take part, and become the generation that changes the world. The World’s Largest Lesson is a campaign to mobilize youth and children and teach everyone about this new vision for the future. Anyone can get involved thanks to the resources available

Dates: September 18 – 25


Monday, 19 September 2016


UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants

The UN General Assembly will host a high-level summit to address large movements of refugees and migrants, with the aim of bringing countries together behind a more humane and coordinated approach.

This is the first time the General Assembly has called for a summit at the Heads of State and Government level on large movements of refugees and migrants and it is a historic opportunity to come up with a blueprint for a better international response. It is a watershed moment to strengthen governance of international migration and a unique opportunity for creating a more responsible, predictable system for responding to large movements of refugees and migrants. 

Find out more at  Click for the detailed programme.

Participation is by invitation only.


Boosting Higher Education Opportunities in Emergencies - High-level side event

Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the UN

This side event aims at welcoming the progress made at the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants that clearly recognizes the key role of higher education in emergencies and at making a call for action to make immediate progress in unleashing the power of higher education to build resilience in emergencies and foster recovery and rebuilding from disasters and conflict.

  • Welcoming Remarks: Setting the Stage 
  • Animation film on a rapid response mechanism for higher education in emergencies 
  • Voices from the ground: “What’s next to promote Higher Education in crises situations? 
  • “Sharing thoughts with the audience” – participants will be invited to make contributions to open up new avenues for future joint work. 
  • Closing Remarks- A Call for Action by Mr. António Guterres, former UNHCR 

Location: United Nations, Conference Room 12.

Time: 1:15pm -  2:45pm

RSVP to [email protected] by September 15th, 1 pm EDT, latest.


Education Equity by 2030: Met by All

Education Equity Research Initiative, Save the Children & FHI 360

Please join us for a panel discussion, brought together by the Education Equity Research Initiative, on using data and research to advance education equity for all by 2030. A light reception with soft drinks and hors d’oeuvres will follow the panel. 

Reserve your spot today! RSVP using the link below. Formal invite to follow. QUESTIONS? Email us at [email protected]  #equity2030 

Location: Scandinavia House, Volvo Hall, 2nd Floor, 58 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Time: 2:30pm - 6:00pm (Please arrive at 2:30pm)


Education in Emergencies: Committing to the Full Continuum

Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

The world is currently experiencing the largest refugee crisis since World War II. In this context, prioritizing education is not only crucially important, but also a smart investment—providing stability, structure, and routine, as well as enabling children and youth to build relevant skills and lead productive lives. Yet few refugee children are benefitting from this basic service: only half are in primary school, one quarter in secondary school, and one percent in higher education. At the same time, host governments face a wealth of challenges while working to absorb the massive inflows of refugees into national systems, further complicating their capacity to provide education. In this session, the conclusion of a year-long focus on education in emergencies, participants will:

  • Look at the full continuum that is needed to support school-aged children throughout their education.
  • Explore the benefits of informal versus formal education.
  • Discuss the shared responsibility of the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to deliver this critical service to refugees.

PARTICIPANTS:  Kelly Tallman Clements, Deputy High Commissioner, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 

Location: open to CGI members

Time: 3:45pm - 5:15pm


The Challenges of Refugee Education (Clinton Global Initiative Side Meeting)

Libraries Without Borders

The goal of this side meeting will be to articulate the challenges that current actors in refugee education are facing, and to explore potential areas of collaboration for designing and implementing solutions to these challenges. 

Location: by invitation only

Time: 5:30pm


Skills for a Changing World - Acknowledging Progress and Building Momentum

The Center for Universal Education at Brookings and the LEGO Foundation

In collaboration with multiple partners, CUE and the LEGO Foundation will co-host a reception exploring high quality learning opportunities that build the breadth of skills needed for vibrant, healthy societies

Location: 153 East 53rd Street, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10022

Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm

RSVP here: TBD


20-29 September 2016


General Debate of the 71st Session of the UNGA

Location: UN Headquarters, New York, NY

Closed to the public


Tuesday, 20 September 2016


Identifying and Addressing Evidence Gaps: A New Research Envelope for the Field of Education in Emergencies

INEE and Dubai Cares

The urgency of collecting evidence on the most effective prevention and response strategies, and utilizing that evidence to inform future policies and programmes, emerged as a significant concern among INEE members during recent global consultations for the development of Education Cannot Wait (ECW). In response to this, and to reflect its commitment made at the World Humanitarian Summit to allocate at least 10% of all its funding for education in emergencies towards research, Dubai Cares will launch a research envelope - E3 - focusing solely on generating more evidence on the most effective prevention and response strategies in education in emergencies. The envelope aims to fund research geared towards informing the policies of decision-makers, implementing agencies and other local stakeholders involved in education in emergencies, and to complement and connect with other evidence gathering mechanisms, including the Acceleration Fund of the ECW.

This event will feature opening remarks by the organizers and prominent, invited guests, followed by a panel of distinguished experts from the international NGO community, academia, the health sector and national government. The event will conclude with a Q&A with the audience and summary from INEE, who will moderate the discussions. 

Location: Space is limited and participation is by invitation only.

Time: 7:15am - 8:30am (breakfast will be served)


The Next Generation of Development: Integrated Investments for Youth

Hosted by the President of the United States, Barack Obama

On the margins of the General Assembly, on 20 September 2016, the United States President Obama is hosting the Leaders' Summit on Refugees, alongside co-hosts Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, Jordan, Mexico and Sweden, which will appeal to governments to pledge significant new commitments on refugees. While the Leaders' Summit will focus on refugees, not migrants, the General Assembly High-Level Summit will address large movements of both. The two events will complement one another.

The goal is to galvanize significant new global commitments to: 1) increase funding to humanitarian appeals and international organizations, 2) admit more refugees through resettlement or other legal pathways, and 3) increase refugees’ self-reliance and inclusion through opportunities for education and legal work.

Participation is by invitation only. Info here:


Together for the 2030 Agenda: Partnering for Women, Children and Adolescents, to Thrive and Transform the World

Co-organized by Every Woman Every Child (EWEC), the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement, the Zero Hunger Challenge (ZHC) together with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and Sanitation and Water for All (SWA)

Multi-stakeholder partnerships are encouraging multi-sectorial actions that are transforming the health, nutrition, food security, sanitation and education of individuals, communities and nations. Organized by GPE, Every Woman Every Child, Scaling Up Nutrition, Sanitation and Water for All, and Zero Hunger Challenge, this high-level panel event will highlight the importance of working across sectors through country-led partnership to empower women, children and adolescents, to thrive and transform the world.


Location: Room CR3, United Nations Headquarters, New York

Time: 11am-1pm EST

Please register here. For more information, contact [email protected]


Girl, Uninterrupted: Increasing Opportunity During Adolescence

Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

Adolescence is a key time in a person’s life, and it offers tremendous opportunity for growth and development. Yet for girls it is often the time where inequality and discrimination are cemented. Nearly 15 million adolescent girls worldwide are forced to marry before the age of 18, depriving them of further education and earning potential and also negatively impacting the countries in which they live. When we invest in the health and secondary education of girls—especially STEM and skill-building—we not only have the opportunity to change the lives of 600 million adolescent girls, but to reduce poverty, grow economies, and increase global prosperity. In this session, leaders from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors will discuss how CGI members can:

  • Increase secondary education and skill-building opportunities for adolescent girls, better preparing them for the workforce.
  • Invest in female health and well-being worldwide, supporting opportunities to delay reproduction and marriage as well as promoting maternal and reproductive health initiatives.
  • Create gender-friendly environments—such as better sanitation facilities in schools—to better support adolescent girls.

MODERATOR:  Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation 

PANELISTS:  Kazuo Hirai, Representative Corporate Executive Officer, President and CEO, Sony Corporation 


Sonita Alizadeh, Artist and Activist, The Strongheart Group 
Memory Banda, Girl Leader and Advisory Board Member, Rise Up 

Location: open to CGI members

Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm


Education and the Workforce (CGI Networking Lunch)

Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting 

Location: open to CGI members

Time: 12:30pm - 1:30pm


'A Celebration of the Teacher' dinner event

CGI, Varkey, EI and Brookings

Teachers are one of the most important determinants in the quality of a student’s education. Yet the profession is often adversely impacted by a lack of recognition, poor working conditions, and low salaries. How can we elevate the role of teachers in society while recruiting the 25 million more needed to achieve universal primary education by 2030? On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the historic joint United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization/International Labour Organization Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, this Topic Dinner will feature global advocates highlighting the pivotal role that educators play in delivering quality education, as well as opportunities for recruiting, retaining, and supporting teachers worldwide.


Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO 
Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization 

Location: New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 5th Ave at 42nd St, New York, NY 10018

Time: 7:30pm - 9:30pm  Doors open at 7:00 PM.


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Breakfast Event: Business Leads in Education: Driving Innovation and Partnership

Global Business Coalition for Education 

This event aims to highlight the leading role of the private sector to build effective partnerships, develop innovative solutions, and mobilize additional resources and financing to better deliver education in crisis and emergency, exploring new channels and mechanisms to do so.

Location: ReedSmith, 599 Lexington Ave

To RSVP for this event, GBC-Education members should email [email protected]


Roundtable - Discussion with Sarah Brown and Julia Gillard

The Education Commission report, the establishment of the Education Cannot Wait Fund, and the upcoming replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) present key opportunities to accelerate progress on financing. Former Prime Minister of Australia and GPE Chair Julia Gillard joins GBC-Education Executive Chair Sarah Brown for a roundtable to assess opportunities for business to support and invest in education. By understanding the pathways for engagement, business leaders can play a greater role in ensuring the continuity of opportunity when education is disrupted due to conflict, natural disaster or emergency, and improve linkages between skills, employment and stability.

Location: ReedSmith, 599 Lexington Ave

Time: 09:15am - 10:15am

By invitation only


Achieving Universal Quality Education

Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

All children have the right to an education—a quality education. But how can we ensure this right is extended universally? While a quality education requires a holistic approach—including components such as student nutrition and health, safe school environments, and well-trained teachers—a truly well-rounded approach must be adaptable to diverse geographies and cultures. During this session, thought leaders from around the world will discuss actionable strategies to increase and improve educational quality and highlight the importance of education plans that can be supported by the private sector, public sector, and civil society.

PARTICIPANTS:  Chernor Bah, Associate, Population Council 

Location: open to CGI members

Time: 2:00pm - 3:30pm


Launch Event on Qatar Upholding Education for Syrians’ Trust (QUEST)

State of Qatar

H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, will be joined by Ministers of major donor countries, and high-level personalities such as Mr. Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF; and Mr. Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, OCHA, and H.E. Ms. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO Save the Children International, to launch a Qatar-led Initiative for Upholding Education for Syrian Children and Youth.


The Initiative comprises a series of integrated educational and training programs aimed at supporting the needs of Syrian children and youth within Syria itself and of those who have sought refuge in four neighboring countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey. It seeks to build youth’s capacity to acquire competencies that will enable them to improve their qualifications and therefore be able to enroll in formal and informal education institutions in host countries. It also aims at helping Syrian students develop the skills needed for competitive job markets.

Location: by invitation only. Ror information, contact Nazaré Albuquerque at [email protected]

Time: 4:30pm - 6:00pm


Thursday, 22 September 2016


Transforming 21st Century Education Systems

GBC-ed & Asia Society

High level dialogue on linkages of strengthening primary & Secondary education systems, and global competence for quality learning - highlighting examples  of partnerships with the private sector that ensure tht these innovations reach all children and youth. Sarah Brown speaking.

Location: 725 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10021

Time: 08:00am - 09:30am

By invitation only


Launch of Asia Society Center for Global Education

Asia Society

Building on six decades of groundbreaking work, Asia Society is proud to announce the launch of our Center for Global Education (CGE). The center will transform education to prepare young people for a global 21st century by bringing together the most influential educators, businesses, and government officials, commissioning research, publishing insights, and partnering with schools and education systems to change policy and practice.

Location: 725 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10021

Time: 10:00am - 11:30am

Buy tickets here


Friday, 23 September 2016


Education for people and planet: Creating sustainable futures for all

Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report 

The 2016 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report is the first report in a newly mandated fifteen-year series. This year’s agenda-setting report examines the intersectoral and reciprocal links between education and key facets of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and discusses strategies and challenges in reviewing and monitoring Sustainable Development Goal 4 and its 10 targets, presenting policy makers with core recommendations to support decision-making.

During this high-level round-table the major findings of the 2016 GEM Report will be shared with ministers, permanent missions, UN staff and agencies, and other key partners. The discussion will focus on the key recommendations from the 2016 Global Education Monitoring Report.

Time: 1:15pm - 2:30pm