Transcript of the message by Mr. Liu Zhenmin Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs for the 6th SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee Meeting held at UNESCO in Paris, France, 11-12 March 2019 Ladies and gentlemen, I am honoured to be invited to address this important meeting of the SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee. The Steering Committee plays a crucial role in the follow-up and review process for SDG 4 and the 2030 Agenda. I am impressed by the thorough and detailed process that has been followed to monitor and report on SDG 4 progress and challenges. The Global Education Meeting, held in Brussels last December, brought together diverse stakeholders, from within and outside the education sector to assess progress toward delivering inclusive, quality education for all. I commend the Steering Committee for building momentum toward the in-depth review of SDG 4 at the HLPF in July and the first four-year review cycle of the 2030 Agenda in September. It is an opportune moment to take stock of how to accelerate progress toward SDG 4, and to affirm the significance of education to the rest of the Agenda. Inclusive access to education, quality education, life-long learning – these are driving forces for building sustainable and resilient societies. Success in delivering on SDG 4 would contribute considerably toward achieving other goals –reducing inequalities, building knowledge to increase ambition of climate action, and empowering people toward the jobs of the future. Education has the reach to improve lives of people everywhere today, and for generations to come. At the same time, we must consider how action on other goals – such as ending poverty, supporting gender equality, promoting peace or improving child health – can break down barriers that slow progress toward SDG 4. We know that significant challenges remain – more than half of children and adolescents globally are below minimum standards in reading and mathematics. Digital literacy and skills needed for the future are unequal. Girls and women are woefully underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects. Hearing from a diverse set of voices and sharing experiences will help stimulate action on these and other challenges. This May, the fourth Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science Technology and Innovation for the SDGs will take place. Technology is one area that holds great promise for advancing the goal of quality education for all. I invite your support as we bring together STI stakeholders to share information, experiences, best practices and policy advice. Ladies and gentlemen, our focus now must be on working together toward the 2019 SDG Summit, and setting the stage for bold action. I am confident that this meeting will culminate in a report that highlights the gaps and challenges, good practices and synergies that are vital for generating commitments to accelerate progress toward SDG 4. Rest assured that the United Nations will do its utmost to support and advance your work. Thank you again for your invitation to address this important meeting and I look forward to the outcomes.