Popular U.S. comedian and talk-show host Stephen Colbert caught the world’s attention this week when he released a video calling on the global community to get behind girls’ education and to support the Global Partnership for Education.
His call on the world to “invade” Norway especially caught the attention of Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. With his unique blend of humor and satire, Colbert cited Norway’s global leadership in education and appealed to his legions of followers on social media to flood the Prime Minister’s office with tweets and phone calls calling on Norway to rally more support for girls’ education and the Global Partnership.
Prime Minister Solberg swiftly responded in a video message of her own, demonstrating some of her own comedic talents but stressing that “the Vikings of Norway” cannot do it alone. She says US$16 billion could be raised for global education in 2016 if all other OECD donor countries increased their funding for global education at the same rate Norway has.
The Prime Minister said that Colbert’s followers had managed to clog her Twitter feed but that she was glad to join forces with him for the cause of girls’ education. “When you educate a girl, you educate a nation,” Prime Minister Solberg added. Her government is “massively” increasing its support for global education and she confirmed her attendance at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival is on September 26th in New York City’s Central Park.
Norway is a strong supporter of the Global Partnership for Education, both financially and programmatically. During GPE’s Second Replenishment Pledging Conference, Norway pledged to gradually double its financial commitment to the GPE Fund. Norway also continues to lead the policy dialogue on education at the global level, most recently hosting the Oslo Summit for Education for Development.
In the coming year, Norway will play a critical role in the future financing of education through the global financing commission on education announced in July.
The Global Partnership stands firmly with Norway and Prime Minister Solberg to ensure that all children receive the quality education that is their right.