UN chief teams up with global leaders, celebrities to get all children into school by 2015
an article by UN News Centre (abridged)
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today (10 April) joined a prominent roster of global leaders, campaigners and celebrities in Washington, D.C. to help launch a new worldwide campaign that aims to get 57 million children into school.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivers remarks at "learning for all" event at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington D.C. UN Photo/Mark Garten
click on photo to enlarge
The launch of the Emergency Coalition for Global Education Action comes in response to the news that the international community could fall short on the UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to get all children into education by 2015. If the current pace continues, it will be 2086 before all children are in school and learning.
The coalition – which includes singer and songwriter Shakira, actors Jude Law and Goldie Hawn, and CNN International anchor Isha Sesay – will work even harder to accelerate progress until the end of 2015 to ensure all girls and boys are in school.
“You are here to help ensure that every child enjoys his or her right to education – and I am pleased to stand with all of you in working towards that goal,” the Secretary-General said in his remarks on the launch of the new campaign.
Mr. Ban noted that too many children are kept out of school because of displacement, conflict, child labour, child marriage, and sexual and gender-based violence. Moreover, entrenched poverty and lack of security often turn schools and neighbourhoods into places of vulnerability and brutality, instead of opportunity and vitality.
“No girl should be enslaved instead of being in school. No child should be married instead of being in school. No child should be denied an education because his or her country is at war. No child should be targeted for violence because she or he wants to exercise the fundamental right to education,” he stated. “Together, we can change this.”
The Emergency Coalition – convened by UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown – calls for four zeroes: zero child marriage; zero child labour; zero discrimination against girls; and zero exclusion from education.
Mr. Brown called the current situation “unacceptable from a moral, economic and global security perspective” and stressed the domestic governments and non-governmental organizations must be pushed to honour their commitments to out-of-school children.
“We made a promise to children worldwide that they would be in school by 2015,” the former British prime minister stated. “We must now put education on the international agenda in a way that cannot be ignored. Together, we will tackle the key barriers to education – child marriage, child labour and discrimination against girls.”
The launch of the Emergency Coalition took place at the 2015 Countdown Summit held in the United States capital to pressure the international community to take action on behalf of children everywhere.
The summit is organized in collaboration with ‘A World at School’ campaign and more than 100 civil society partners working to accelerate progress for children across the world. Sarah Brown, Founder of A World at School, will unveil a network of 500 youth ambassadors from 80 countries who are to work internationally to promote learning for all. . .
(Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.)
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Letter from Mohatma Gandhi to Maria Montessori.
To Madame Montessori
Even as you, out of your love for children, are endeavoring to teach children, through your numerous institution, the best that can be brought out of them, even so, I hope that it will be possible not only for the children of the wealthy and the well-to-do, but for the children of paupers to receive training of this nature. You have very truly remarked that if we are to reach real peace in this world and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children and if they will grow up in their natural innocence, we won't have the struggle, we won't have to pass fruitless idle resolutions, but we shall go from love to love and peace to peace, until at last all the corners of the world are covered with that peace and love for which, consciously or unconsciously, the whole world is hungering.
Mohatma Gandhi, Young India, 19-11-''31