A Letter to the International Community
In addition to disrupting the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic is also derailing educational opportunities for millions of the world's poorest and most vulnerable children. If governments and multilateral organizations do not intervene immediately, the damage done today will be felt for decades to come.
LONDON – We write to call for urgent action to address the global education emergency triggered by COVID-19. With more than one billion children still out of school because of the lockdown, there is a real and present danger that the public-health crisis will create a COVID generation who loses out on schooling and whose opportunities are permanently damaged. While the more fortunate have had access to alternatives, the world’s poorest children have been locked out of learning and denied Internet access. And with the loss of free school meals – once a lifeline for nearly 400 million boys and girls – hunger has grown.
An immediate concern as we bring the lockdown to an end is the fate of an estimated 30 million children who, according to UNESCO, may never return to school. For these, the world’s least-advantaged children, education is often the only escape from poverty – a route that is in danger of closing.
Many of these children are adolescent girls for whom being in school is the best defense against forced marriage and the best hope for expanded opportunities. Many more are young children who risk being forced into exploitative and dangerous labor. And because education is linked to progress in virtually every area of human development – from child survival to maternal health, gender equality, job creation, and inclusive economic growth – the education emergency will undermine the prospects for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and potentially set back progress on gender equity by years. According to the World Bank, the long-term economic cost of lost schooling could be as much as $10 trillion.
We cannot stand by and allow these young people to be robbed of their education and a fair chance in life. Instead, we should be redoubling our efforts to get all children into school – including the 260 million already out of school and the 75 million children affected by protracted conflicts and forced displacement, among whom are 35 million refugees or internally displaced people. We should provide them with the comprehensive help they need and make it possible for young people to start or resume their studies in school, as well as further and higher education.
There is a longer-term challenge. Even before COVID-19, the world faced a learning crisis. Over half of the children in developing countries suffer from “learning poverty” and even at age 11 have little or no basic literacy and numeracy skills. As a result, 800 million of today’s young people leave education with no qualifications whatsoever. If we are to avoid this, the millions of children who are now preparing to return to school, having lost over a half-year of education, need their governments to invest in catch-up programs and proper learning assessment. When schools reopened after Pakistan’s 2005 earthquake. attendance recovered, but four years later children had lost the equivalent of 1.5 years of schooling.
Resources are now urgently needed to get young people back into education and enable them to catch up. What is more, we should rebuild better: more support for online learning, personalized learning, and teacher training; conditional cash transfers for poor families; and safer schools that meet distancing rules. This should build on the enormous community effort that has been displayed during the pandemic and the coalition of global organizations that have now joined forces in the Save our Future initiative, launched on August 4.
Yet at the very time we need extra resources, education funding is in danger on three fronts:
- As slower or negative growth undermines tax revenues, less money may be available in almost every country for public services, including education.
- When allocating limited funds, some governments may leave education crowded out and underfunded as they prioritize expenditure on health and economic recovery.
- Intensifying fiscal pressure in developed countries will result in reductions in international development aid, including aid for education, which has already been losing out to other priorities in the allocation of bilateral and multilateral aid. There is also a danger that multilateral donors, who already under-invest in education, will reallocate funds.
The World Bank now estimates that, over the next year, overall education spending in low and middle-income countries could be $100-150 billion lower than previously planned.
This funding crisis will not resolve itself.
We call on the G20, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and regional development banks, and all countries to recognize the scale of the crisis and support initiatives to enable catching up and to resume progress toward SDG4.
First, every country should pledge to protect front-line education spending, prioritizing the needs of the most disadvantaged children through conditional and unconditional cash transfers to promote school participation, where possible.
Second, the international community must increase aid for education, focusing on the most vulnerable, including the poor, girls, children in conflict situations, and the disabled. The quickest way to free up resources for education is through debt relief. The 76 poorest countries have to pay $86 billion in debt-service costs over the next two years. We call for debt suspension, with a requirement that the money for debt servicing be reallocated to education and other priority investments for children.
Subscribe to Project Syndicate
Enjoy unlimited access to the ideas and opinions of the world’s leading thinkers, including weekly long reads, book reviews, topical collections, and interviews; The Year Ahead annual print magazine; the complete PS archive; and more – for less than $5 a month.
Third, the IMF should issue $1.2 trillion in Special Drawing Rights (its global reserve asset) and its membership should agree to channel these resources toward the countries that need them most, creating a platform for recovery.
And fourth, the World Bank should unlock more support for low-income countries through a supplementary International Development Association budget, and – following the lead of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, which have now pledged $650 million to the new International Finance Facility for Education to help unlock billions in extra finance for education in lower-middle-income countries – invite additional guarantees and grants from donors. This is in addition to the replenishment over next two years of the Global Partnership for Education, scaled-up investment in Education Cannot Wait, and continued support for the UN agencies focused on education and children (led by UNESCO and UNICEF). We also call on private-sector corporations and foundations to make support for global education a greater priority
Sustainable human development can only be built on a foundation of quality education. While the challenges are momentous, the impact of the crisis on children has made us even more determined to realize the ambition contained in SDG4, that ours can be the first generation in history in which every child is in school and has the chance to develop their potential to the fullest. Now is the time for national governments and the international community to come together to give children and young people the opportunities they deserve and to which they are entitled.
This commentary is co-signed by: María Elena Agüero – Secretary-General of the WLA-Club de Madrid; Esko Aho – Prime Minister of Finland (1991-95)¹; Shamshad Akhtar – UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Assistant Secretary-General at UN DESA (2013-18); Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (2006-09)²; Farida Allaghi – Ambassador of Libya to the European Union (2015-16)³; Abdulaziz Altwaijri – Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (1991-2019)³; Mohamed Amersi – Founder & Chairman, The Amersi Foundation; Roger Ames – Director of the Center for Chinese Studies, University of Hawaii; Kwame Anthony Appiah – Professor of Philosophy and Law, NYU; Shaukat Aziz – Prime Minister of Pakistan (2004-07)³⁴; Julian Baggini – Academic Director of the Royal Institute of Philosophy; Gordon Bajnai – Prime Minister of Hungary (2009-10); Jan Peter Balkenende – Prime Minister of the Netherlands (2002-10)¹; Kaushik Basu – President of the International Economic Association, World Bank Chief Economist (2012-16); Carol Bellamy – Executive Director of UNICEF (1995-2005)²; Nicolas Berggruen – Chairman of the Berggruen Institute⁴; Erik Berglöf - Director of the Institute of Global Affairs, London School of Economics, Chief Economist of the EBRD (2006-14); Suman Bery – Chief Economist at Royal Dutch Shell (2012-16), Director-General of the National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi; Tim Besley – President of the International Economic Association (2014-17), Professor of Economics and Political Science, LSE; Valdis Birkavs – Prime Minister of Latvia (1993-94)¹; Tony Blair – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1997-2007); Mario Blejer – Governor of the Central Bank of Argentina (2002), Director of the Centre for Central Banking Studies, Bank of England (2003-08); Irina Bokova – Director-General of UNESCO (2009-17)²; Patrick Bolton – Professor of Finance and Economics, Imperial College London, Professor, Columbia University; Kjell Magne Bondevik – Prime Minister of Norway (1997-2000, 2001-05)¹; Leszek Borysiewicz – Vice Chancellor, University of Cambridge (2010-17); Ouided Bouchamaoui – President of UTICA (2011-18), Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (2015)³; Dumitru Braghiș – Prime Minister of Moldova (1999-2001)³; María Eugenia Brizuela de Ávila – Minister of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador (1999-2004)²; John Bruton – Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland (1994-97)¹⁵; Robin Burgess – Professor of Economics, LSE; Kim Campbell – Prime Minister of Canada (1993)¹; Fernando Henrique Cardoso – President of Brazil (1995-2003)¹; Wendy Carlin – Professor of Economics, University College London; Juan Luis Cebrián - Founder and Honorary President of El Pais; Vinton G. Cerf – Co-Inventor of the Internet³; Hikmet Çetin – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey (1991-94), Speaker of the Grand National Assembly (1997-99)³⁵; Lynda Chalker – Minister of Overseas Development of the United Kingdom (1989-97)⁵; Raymond G. Chambers - WHO Ambassador for Global Strategy; Bai Chong-En – Dean, Tsinghua School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University; Helen Clark – Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999-2008), UNDP Administrator (2009-17)¹³⁵; Joe Clark – Prime Minister of Canada (1979-80)⁵; Emil Constantinescu – President of Romania (1996-2000)³; Radhika Coomaraswamy – UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict (2006-12), UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women (1994-2003)²; Chester Crocker – Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, United States (1981-89)⁵; Mirko Cvetković – Prime Minister of Serbia (2008-12)³; Antonio Damasio – Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology and Philosophy, Director, Brain and Creativity Institute, USC; Hanna Damasio – Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology, Director, Dornsife Cognitive Neuroimaging Center, USC; Marzuki Darusman – Attorney General of Indonesia (1999-2001)⁵; Frederik Willem de Klerk – State President of South Africa (1989-94)⁵; Kemal Derviş – Minister of Economic Affairs of Turkey (2001-02), Administrator of UNDP (2005-09), Senior Fellow Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institute; Beatrice Weder di Mauro – President, Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), Professor of International Economics, Graduate Institute in Geneva; Victor J. Dzau – President of the National Academy of Medicine; Gareth Evans – Foreign Minister of Australia (1988-96), President and CEO of International Crisis Group (2000-09)⁵; Jeremy Farrar – Director of the Wellcome Trust; Jan Fischer – Prime Minister of the Czech Republic (2009-10), Finance Minister (2013-14)³; Tom Fletcher – UK Ambassador to Lebanon (2011-15), Principal-Elect of Hertford College, University of Oxford; Vicente Fox – President of Mexico (2000-06)¹; Franco Frattini – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy (2002-04, 2008-11), European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security (2004-08)³; Chiril Gaburici – Prime Minister of Moldova (2015), Minister of Economy and Infrastructure (2018-2019)³; Ahmed Galal – Finance Minister of Egypt (2013-14); Nathalie de Gaulle – Chairwoman & Co-founder of NB-INOV, Founder of Under 40³; César Gaviria - President of Colombia (1990-94), Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (1994-2004)¹; Anthony Giddens – Director of the London School of Economics (1996–2003), Professor, Department of Sociology, LSE; Lawrence Gonzi – Prime Minister of Malta (2004-13)⁵; Alexander Görlach – Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Relations, University of Cambridge; Dalia Grybauskaitė – President of the Republic of Lithuania (2009-19)¹; Rebeca Grynspan – Ibero-American Secretary-General, Second Vice President of Costa Rica (1994-1998); UN Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of UNDP (2010-14)²; Ameenah Gurib-Fakim – President of Mauritius (2015-18)³; Sergei Guriev – Chief Economist of the EBRD (2016-19), Professor of Economics, Sciences Po; Han Seung-soo – Prime Minister of South Korea (2008-09)¹; Robert M. Hertzberg – Majority Leader of the California State Senate; Noeleen Heyzer – UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP (2007-15)²³; Bengt Holmström – Nobel Laureate for Economics (2016), Professor of Economics, MIT; Wang Hui – Professor of Chinese Language, Literature, and History, Tsinghua University; Mo Ibrahim – Founder of Celtel, Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation⁴; Enrique Iglesias – Foreign Minister of Uruguay (1985-88), President of the Inter-American Development Bank (1988-2005)¹⁵; Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu – Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (2004-14)³; Dalia Itzik – Interim President of Israel (2007), President of the Knesset (2006-09)³; Mladen Ivanić – Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2014-18)³; Pico Iyer – Distinguished Presidential Fellow, Chapman University, Writer and Essayist, TIME; Garry Jacobs – President & Chief Executive Officer of the World Academy of Art and Science³; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – President of Liberia (2006-18), Member of The Elders; Mehdi Jomaa - Prime Minister of the Republic of Tunisia (2014)¹; Anthony Jones – Vice-President and Executive Director of the Gorbachev Foundation of North America¹; Ivo Josipović – President of Croatia (2010-15)¹³; Jean-Claude Juncker – Prime Minister of Luxembourg (1995-2013), President of the European Commission (2014-19)¹; Mats Karlsson – Vice President, External Affairs at the World Bank (1999-2002)³; Caroline Kende-Robb – Executive Director of the Africa Progress Panel (2011-17), Secretary General of CARE International (2018-19); Rima Khalaf – Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (2010-17)²; Moushira Khattab – Executive President, Kemet Boutros Boutros Ghali Foundation for Peace and Knowledge, Minister of Family and Population of Egypt (2009-11)³; HE Jakaya Kikwete – President of Tanzania (2005-2015)Ban Ki-moon – UN Secretary General (2007-16), Deputy Chair of The Elders¹; Anton Friedrich Koch – Professor of Philosophy, Universität Heidelberg; Horst Köhler – President of the Federal Republic of Germany (2004-10)¹; Jadranka Kosor – Prime Minister of Croatia (2009-11)³; Anne Krueger – First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF (2001-06), Senior Research Professor of International Economics, School for Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University; John Kufuor – President of Ghana (2001-09)¹; Chandrika Kumaratunga – President of Sri Lanka (1994-2005)¹³; Aleksander Kwaśniewski – President of Poland (1995-2005)¹; Rachel Kyte – Dean of The Fletcher School, Tufts University, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All (2016-19), World Bank Group VP & Special Envoy (2012-15)²; Ricardo Lagos –President of Chile (2000-06), Member of the Elders¹⁴; Zlatko Lagumdzija – Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2001- 02), Foreign Affairs Minister (2012-15)¹³; Yves Leterme – Prime Minister of Belgium (2008; 2009-11)¹³; Margaret Levi – Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences & Professor of Political Science, Stanford University; Justin Yifu Lin – Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank (2008-12), Dean of Institute of New Structural Economics, Peking University³; Tzipi Livni – Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel (2006-09), Minister of Justice (2013-14)³; Petru Lucinschi – President of Moldova (1997-2001)³; Ricardo Luna – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru (2016-18)⁵; Nora Lustig – President Emeritus of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association, Professor of Latin American Economics, Tulane University; Graça Machel – Education & Culture Minister of Mozambique (1975-86), Deputy Chair of The Elders; John Major – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1990-97); Susana Malcorra – UN Under-Secretary-General for Field Support (2008-12), Chef de Cabinet to UN Secretary-General (2012-15), Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina (2015-17)²; Purnima Mane – UN Assistant-Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director UNFPA (2007-12)²; Moussa Mara – Prime Minister of Mali (2014-15)³; Paul Martin – Prime Minister of Canada (2003-06)⁴; Colin Mayer – Professor of Management Studies, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford; Péter Medgyessy – Prime Minister of Hungary (2002-04)³; Rexhep Meidani – President of Albania (1997-2002)¹³; Amre Moussa - Secretary General of the Arab League (2001-11), Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt (1991-2001), Board Member of NGIC; Rovshan Muradov – Secretary General of NGIC; Joseph Muscat – Prime Minister of Malta (2013-20)³; Mustapha Kamel Nabli – Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia (2011-12); Piroska Nagy-Mohácsi – Program Director of the Institute of Global Affairs, LSE, Director of Policy, EBRD (2009-15); Dawn Nakagawa – Executive Vice President, Berggruen Institute; Rebecca Newberger Goldstein – Philosopher; Bujar Nishani – President of Albania (2012-17)³; Olusegun Obasanjo – President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999-2007)¹; Josiah Ober – Professor of Political Science and Classics, Stanford University; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala – Board Chair of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, Finance Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2011-15); Djoomart Otorbaev – Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan (2014-15)³; Ana Palacio – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain (2002-04)²³⁵; Elsa Papademetriou – Vice President of the Hellenic Parliament (2007-09)³; George Papandreou – Prime Minister of Greece (2009-11)³; Andrés Pastrana – President of Colombia (1998-2002)¹; P.J. Patterson – Prime Minister of Jamaica (1992-2005)¹⁵; Philip Pettit – University Professor of Politics and Human Values, Princeton University; Thomas R. Pickering – United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (1997-2000), Ambassador to the UN (1989-92)⁵; Christopher Pissarides – Nobel Laureate for Economics (2010), Professor of Economics and Political Science, LSE; Rosen Plevneliev – President of Bulgaria (2012-17)³; Richard Portes – Professor of Economics, London Business School, Founder and Honorary President of the Centre for Economic Policy Research; Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca – President of Malta (2014-19)³; Romano Prodi – Prime Minister of Italy (2006-08), President of the European Commission (1999-2004)¹; Michael Puett – Professor of Chinese History, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilization, Harvard University; Jorge Quiroga – President of Bolivia (2001-02)¹; Iveta Radičová – Prime Minister of Slovakia (2010-12)¹; José Ramos Horta – President of Timor Leste (2007-12)¹⁵; Òscar Ribas Reig – Prime Minister of Andorra (1982-84; 1990-94)¹³; Hélène Rey - Professor of Economics, London Business School; George Robertson – Secretary General of NATO (1999-2003)⁵; Mary Robinson – President of Ireland (1990-97), UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Chair of the Elders¹; José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero – Prime Minister of Spain (2004-11)¹; Dani Rodrik – President-Elect of the International Economic Association, Professor of International Political Economy, Harvard University; Gérard Roland – Professor of Economics & Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley; Petre Roman – Prime Minister of Romania (1989-91)¹³; Michael Roth – President of Wesleyan University; Nouriel Roubini – Chairman & CEO, Roubini Macro Associates LLC; Ruslana – World Music Award and Eurovision Song Contest-winning recording artist, Special Envoy of NGIC; Isabel Saint Malo – Vice President of Panama (2014-2019)²; Juan Manuel Santos – President of Colombia (2010-18), Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (2016), Member of The Elders; Amartya Sen – Nobel Laureate for Economics (1998), Professor of Economics & Philosophy, Harvard University; Ismail Serageldin – Vice President of the World Bank (1992-2000), Co-Chair of NGIC; Fatiha Serour – Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Somalia (2013-14)²; Rosalía Arteaga Serrano – President of Ecuador (1997)³; Jenny Shipley – Prime Minister of New Zealand (1997-99)¹; Javier Solana – Secretary-General of the Council of the EU (1999-2009), Secretary General of NATO (1995-99)¹⁵; Richard Sorabji – Honorary Fellow, Wolfson College, University of Oxford; Michael Spence – Nobel Laureate for Economics (2001), Professor in Economics and Business, NYU⁴; Devi Sridhar – Professor of Global Public Health, University of Edinburgh; Eduardo Stein – Vice President of Guatemala (2004-08)⁵; Nicholas Stern – Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank (2000-03), Chief Economist of the EBRD (1994-99), Professor of Economics and Government, LSE; Joseph Stiglitz – Chief Economist of the World Bank (1997-2000), Nobel Laureate for Economics (2001), Professor, Columbia University⁴; Petar Stoyanov – President of Bulgaria (1997-2002)³; Laimdota Straujuma – Prime Minister of Latvia (2014-16)³; Lawrence Summers – United States Secretary of the Treasury (1999-2001), Deputy Secretary of the Treasury (1995-99), Chief Economist of the World Bank (1991-93), Director of the National Economic Council (2009-10)⁴; Boris Tadić – President of Serbia (2004-12)¹³; Jigme Y. Thinley – Prime Minister of Bhutan (2008-13)¹; Helle Thorning-Schmidt – Prime Minister of Denmark (2011-15)⁴; Eka Tkeshelashvili – Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia (2010-12)³; Danilo Türk – President of Slovenia (2007-12), President of WLA-Club de Madrid; Laura D’Andrea Tyson – Director of the United States National Economic Council (1995-96), Faculty Director, Haas Institute for Business and Social Impact, University of California, Berkeley⁴; Cassam Uteem – President of Mauritius (1992-2002), Vice-President of WLA-Club de Madrid⁵; Juan Gabriel Valdés – Minister for Foreign Affairs of Chile (1999), Ambassador to the UN (2000-03)⁵; Marianna Vardinoyannis – UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Board Member of NGIC; Emiliana Vegas – Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Center for Universal Education, Brookings Institution; Andrés Velasco – Finance Minister of Chile (2006-10), Dean of the School of Public Policy, LSE; Vaira Vike-Freiberga – President of Latvia (1999-2007)¹, Co-Chair of NGIC; Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden – President, Mannheim University (2012-19), Professor, Economics Department; Filip Vujanović – President of Montenegro (2003-18)³; Leonard Wantchekon – Founder & President of the African School of Economics, Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University; Shang-Jin Wei – Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank (2014-16), Professor of Chinese Business and Economy, and Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School; Rebecca Winthrop – Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Center for Universal Education, Brookings Institution; Bin Wong –Professor of History; Director of the Asia Institute, UCLA (2004-16); Kateryna Yushchenko – First Lady of Ukraine (2005-10), Board Member of NGIC; Viktor Yushchenko – President of Ukraine (2005-10)³; Fareed Zakaria – Host of Fareed Zakaria GPS, CNN⁴; Valdis Zatlers – President of Latvia (2007-2011)³; Ernesto Zedillo – President of Mexico (1994-2000), Member of The Elders¹⁴; Min Zhu – Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (2011-16)⁴; ActionAid UK, Girish Menon, CEO; African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), K.Y. Amoako, President and Founder; BRAC International, Muhammad Musa, Executive Director; CARE International UK, Laurie Lee, CEO; Catholic Agency for Oversees Development (CAFOD), Christine Allen, Director; LEGO Foundation - John Goodwin, CEO; Save the Children International, Inger Ashing, CEO; Save the Children UK, Kevin Watkins, CEO; The Education Commission – Liesbet Steer, Director; Theirworld, Justin van Fleet, President; and WaterAid UK – Tim Wainwright, CEO.
¹ Member of the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid
² Member of Global Women Leaders: Voices for Change and Inclusion
³ Member of Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC)
⁴ Member of the Berggruen Institute 21st Century Council
⁵ Member of Global Leadership Foundation
This commentary is also co-signed by these members of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and the IMF:Denis Kpwang Abbé – Senator of the Republic of Cameroon (2013-18); Francisco Ashley L. Acedillo – Member, House of Representatives of the Republic of the Philippines (2013-16); Mohammed Jawad Ahmed – Advisor to the Speaker, Parliament of the Republic of Iraq; Shakeel Shabbir Ahmed – Member of Parliament, National Assembly of the Republic of Kenya; Shamsul Iskandar Bin Mohd Akin – Member of Parliament of Malaysia; Iqbal Abdul Hussein Almadhy – Member of Parliament, Republic of Iraq, President of the PN Chapter in Iraq; Njume Peter Ambang – Member of Parliament of the Republic of Cameroon, Member of the Education and Youth Affairs Committee; Ecaterina Andronescu – Senator, Parliament of Romania, Minister of Education (2018-19), Professor, University Politehnica of Bucharest; Ibtissame Azzaoui – Member of the Parliament of Morocco; Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin – Second Deputy Speaker, Parliament of Ghana; Alpha Bah – Vice President, National Assembly of Guinea; Harriett Baldwin – Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom, Founding Co-Chair, International Parliamentary Network for Education; Joyce Banda – President of Malawi (2012-14)¹; Hafida Benchahida – Senator of the Republic of Algeria, Founding Member of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network; Hervé Berville – Member of the National Assembly of the French Republic; Nozha Beyaoui – Member of Parliament of the Republic of Tunisia; Sunjeev Kour Birdi – Member of Parliament, National Assembly of the Republic of Kenya; Gary Bodeau - President of the Chamber of Deputies, National Assembly of the Republic of Haiti (2018-20); Peter M. Boehm – Senator, Senate of Canada; Mārtiņš Bondars – Member of Parliament of the Republic of Latvia; Liam Byrne – Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom, Chair of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and IMF; Alejandro Cacace – Representative, National Congress of Argentina; Yunus Carrim – Member of Parliament, National Council of Provinces of Parliament, Republic of South Africa, Chairperson of the Select Committee on Finance; Giulio Centemero – Member of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy, Member of the Finance Committee, Co-Chair, PAM Panel on Trade and Investments; Sarah Champion – Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom; Olfa Soukri Cherif –– Member of Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania; Sven Clement – Member of the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies; Gordana Comic –Member of Parliament, National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia (2001-20); Shiddi Usman Danjuma – Member of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Colin Deacon – Senator, Senate of Canada; Issa Mardo Djabir – Member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Chad; Percy E. Downe – Senator, Senate of Canada; Worlea-Saywah Dunah – Founder and Chairman of the Board, Center for Africa Development and Democracy; Nathaniel Erskine-Smith – Member of Parliament of Canada; Marouan Felfel – Member of Parliament of the Republic of Tunisia; Cedric Thomas Frolick – Member of Parliament, National Assembly of Parliament of the Republic of South Africa;Mahmut Celadet Gaydalı – Member of Parliament of the Republic of Turkey; Hajia Alijata Sulemana Gbentie – Member of Parliament of the Republic of Ghana (2013-16); Najeeb Ghanem – Member of the House of Representatives, Parliament of Yemen; Hawa Abdulrahman Ghasia – Member of Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania (2005-20); Preet Kaur Gill – Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development; Patrick Grady – Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom; Lahcen Haddad – Member of the Parliament of Morocco, Minister of Tourism, Government of Morocco (2012-16), Vice President of the SID International Governing Council; Laura Angélica Rojas Hernández – Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico; Anthony Kimani Ichung’Wah – Member of Parliament, National Assembly of the Republic of Kenya; Eunice Kabiru – Member of Parliament of Estonia; Rebecca Yei Kamara – Member of Parliament, Parliament of Sierra Leone; Abdul Kargbo – Member of Parliament, Parliament of Sierra Leone; Gideon Keter – Member of Parliament, National Assembly of the Republic of Kenya; Volkmar Klein – Member of the Bundestag of the Federal Republic of German; John Muiruri Makuno – Director, Action for Children in Conflict UK; Doruntinë E. Maloku – Member of Parliament of the Republic of Kosovo, Chair of the Committee on Economic Development; Teodomiro Nzé Mangué – Senator, Senate of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea; Janet Zebedayo Mbene – Member of Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania; Betty McCollum – Congresswoman, United States House of Representatives; Hayat Meziani – Member of Parliament of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria (2012-17);Mario Monti – Prime Minister of Italy (2011-13)¹⁴; Ammar Moussi – Member of Parliament of the Republic of Algeria; Ruzanna Muradyan – Founder, Education Without Boundaries; Irene Wairimu Mwangi – Public Policy Specialist, Kenya; Cornelius Mweetwa – Member of Parliament of the Republic of Zambia; Adamou Namata – Member of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Bekono Ebah epse Ndoumou – Member of Parliament of the Republic of Cameroon; George Bureng V. Nyombe – Chairperson of the Committee for Foreign Affairs, Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA), Republic of South Sudan; Hassan Omar Mohamed – Member of Parliament, National Assembly of the Republic of Djibouti, President of the Parliamentary Group of Population and Development; Margaret Mary Quirk – Member of the Parliament of Western Australia; Niki Rattle – Speaker of Parliament of the Cook Islands; Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia – Senator, Senate of Canada; Dharma Raj Regmi – Parliamentarian, Federal Parliament of Nepal; Amanda Simard – Member of the Provincial Parliament, Legislative Assembly of Ontario; Azmi Shuaibi – Anti-Corruption Advisor, TI Palestine, Transparency International; Andres Sutt – Member of Parliament of Estonia, Deputy Governor and Member of the Executive Board, Bank of Estonia (2001-09); Catherine Zainab Tarawally – Member of Parliament, Parliament of Sierra Leone, Deputy Whip, All People’s Congress Party; Olanrewaju Adeyemi Tejuoso –Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2015-19); Umayya Toukan – Senator, Parliament of Jordan; and Nguyen Tuong Van – Secretary General of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.