Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
In my recently-issued policy brief on the impacts of COVID-19 on education, I warned that the world was at risk of a generational catastrophe.
I welcome your efforts in coming together today to explore how we can avert it.
The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable and marginalized children and youth. Hundreds of millions have missed out on education, and millions may never continue their learning journey.
The progress we have made, especially for girls and young women, is under threat.
We now need to support the learning recovery in low and middle-income countries -- and to factor education into every stimulus package.
We will succeed by investing in those at greatest risk of being left behind; in teachers who are trained and respected; and in schools that are safe.
We will succeed by investing in connectivity and digital technologies to reimagine education.
And we will succeed by recognizing that education is a global common good.
Financing and political will are critical.
I thank UNESCO for its leadership and call on all countries and international partners to act now, together, for education to transform lives.