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Media Center > Press Releases > EDUCATION LEADERS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE ARRIVE IN NADI AS FIJI HOSTS KEY COMMONWEALTH MEETING

EDUCATION LEADERS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE ARRIVE IN NADI AS FIJI HOSTS KEY COMMONWEALTH MEETING

2/18/2018
Education ministers and their delegations from around the world have arrived in Nadi in preparation for the 20th annual Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (20CCEM). Held every three years, CCEM is a high-level series of meetings giving education officials from the 53 Commonwealth countries an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue and discuss key education issues and trends-- this year, in the context of climate change.

20CCEM, spanning from 19-23 February at the Sheraton Fiji Resort in Denarau, will mark the first time that the Conference will be hosted by a Pacific Island nation.

Fiji, currently presiding over the presidency of the United Nations’ climate change conference, COP23, will play host to a climate-centred 20CCEM, the theme of which is “Sustainability and Resilience: Can Education Deliver?”

“Fiji is incredibly proud to stand as a leader among the Commonwealth as the first Pacific Island nation to host this important gathering,” said Fijian Prime Minister and COP23 President Frank Bainimarama. “We offer a fitting location for 20CCEM, and not just because of our global climate leadership. Fiji is in the midst of an ‘education revolution’; providing free schooling, textbooks, and transportation to many of our young people for the first time in our country’s history, restructuring a merit-based compensation system for teachers, increasing access to higher degrees through an affordable Tertiary Education Loan Scheme, and rebuilding schools that were struck by Cyclone Winston-- and all done through a lens of resilience and sustainability. We look forward to continuing this progress, sharing our learnings, and gaining new perspectives through collaboration with our fellow Commonwealth nations at this year’s event.”

Nearly 500 attendees are expected throughout the week at 20CCEM, where education ministers from 32 Commonwealth nations and their delegations will be joined by world-renowned politicians and speakers, teachers, students, NGO representatives, and other partners.

“Here in Fiji over the coming days, we have an early opportunity to influence outcomes of that meeting. We can help plan for a common future that is fairer, more prosperous, more sustainable and more secure that will meet the needs of all, particularly our young people,” said Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland. “Our 53 Commonwealth member countries have a combined population of some 2.4 billion. More than 60 per cent are under 30 years of age, and in some countries, that rises to over 70 per cent. These young people drive long-term economic growth, competitiveness, prosperity and social justice, if given the fair chance and opportunities to fulfil their potential.”

The outcomes of 20CCEM will be presented at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London this April.

More information on 20CCEM, including a full overview and agenda of the week’s events, can be found at:http://thecommonwealth.org/sites/default/files/inline/20CCEM%20Overview%2001-12-2017.pdf

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