Declaration of the Meeting of the Ministers of Education of the Group of 77 plus China


We, the Ministers of Education and heads of delegation of the G‑77 + China, gathered in Havana, Cuba on February 2, 2023 to deliberate the challenges to our nations in matters of education in the context of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and to initiate common strategies for intensifying commitment and action towards meeting Sustainable Development Goal No. 4, in accordance with national laws, regulations, values and priorities, maximizing cooperation between the nations of the South on its implementation, promoting a real transformation of education in response to the challenges faced by the developing countries, while enhancing our ability to act in concert in the interest of a more sustainable, equitable future.

We reassert the importance of guaranteeing inclusive, and equitable quality education and promoting opportunities for lifelong learning for all.

We regard education as a basic human right and a prerequisite for consolidating peace, sustainable development and social justice.

We consider education to be a global public and common good and an essential tool for shaping the shared future of mankind.

We are aware of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on education systems, in terms of slowing progress on SDG 4; this has affected 1.5 billion students and widened the gaps and inequalities in education.

We underscore the efforts and commitment with which the governments, education ministries and education communities in the countries of the South have launched national and regional cooperative initiatives aimed at mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring the continuity of schooling and of access to education as an essential human right.

We stress the urgent need for progress towards a real transformation to education that meets the internationally-adopted commitment represented by SDG 4, boosts recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and upgrades the resilience of our education systems.

We reaffirm the importance of ensuring educational financing and protecting it from political, economic and world order relations decisions that condition States to invest what is necessary to achieve longlife inclusive, equitable and quality education under the principles of international cooperation and solidarity.

We support:

  1. Promotion of consensus in the Group through deliberation and action, to meet the challenges in the sphere of education faced by the developing nations in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, while redoubling efforts to meet SDG 4.
  2.  Fostering unity, solidarity and international cooperation in matters of education, with a view to its transformation, while taking account of the needs and particular situations of the various countries of the South.
  3. Promoting South-South and triangular South-North-South cooperation aimed at narrowing the education gaps enlarged by the multidimensional crisis caused by COVID-19.
  4. Strengthening the South-South and triangular mechanisms of cooperation with the participation of the agencies and organizations of the United Nations system with competence in education, with a view to launching projects, exchanging good practices and knowledge and forging strategic alliances capable of responding to future crisis situations.
  5. Reactivating the South-South Fund for Cooperation on Education as a platform for development initiatives that upgrade investment in public education and in structural reforms of the education systems in the short term.
  6. Promoting the application and research of science, technology and innovation in ensuring inclusive, evenhanded and high-quality education, while creating opportunities for lifelong learning for all.
  7. Promoting public policies that address learning and the digital conversion of education systems in response to the present challenges, while encouraging the building and use of open educational resources and open-access digital tools, for teachers and students in the countries of the South.
  8. Favoring resilient education systems that equip students and teachers with the competences required for life, work and sustainable development, while countering the trends of denial of scientific knowledge and the dissemination of disinformation
  9. Highlighting the priorities of the countries of the South in matters of education at the multilateral forums for negotiating the post-2030 agenda in the education sphere.

We are ready to step up cooperation on education as a fundamental human right, on meeting SDG 4 and on a transformation of education whereby we move forward together towards a peaceful, inclusive and sustainable future for mankind and the planet.

We thank the government of the Republic of Cuba, as Chair of the G-77 + China, for the organizing and staging of this meeting. We are confident that this event will light our path in these times of huge challenges, enabling us to progress towards achieving our legitimate aspirations for development.


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