|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
SECRETARY-GENERAL, IN MESSAGE, SAYS EDUCATION CAN DRIVE ECONOMIC, SOCIAL PROGRESS;
FAILURE TO PROVIDE EDUCATION FOR ALL PUTS ENTIRE GENERATION AT RISK
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, as delivered by Ann Veneman, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund, for the event on Education for All, today, in New York:
I am grateful to the Global Campaign for Education for bringing this diverse group together. We need a genuine spirit of solidarity in order to reach all of the Millennium Development Goals, and it is heartening that leaders from the private sector, academia, the faith community and Governments are coming together here.
If we forge a broad partnership, we can achieve the Millennium Development Goals by the target date of 2015. We have already seen great progress in the area of education. More children are in school than ever before. More girls are getting the equal education that they deserve.
We have to build on this momentum based on the conviction that education can drive economic and social progress.
One of the best investments that any country can make is to educate girls and women -- so they can earn more income, improve their family’s well being, and show their daughters, in turn, what is possible once you can read and write.
We have ample evidence that education improves individual incomes, economic growth, child and maternal health, resistance to disease and environmental practices. With an education, people flourish. Without it, they remain trapped in poverty.
This has never been more important. Rising food and oil prices and the effects of climate change are hurting the poor most.
We need a holistic approach that promotes education along with health care. Children who are malnourished or sick need food and treatment to succeed at school.
Globally, we need a commitment to equity. Right now, children from poor communities, rural areas and minority groups are almost always struggling to learn under worse conditions than others in society.
If we do not close this gap, we put a whole generation at risk, and we allow problems to fester. But if we ensure that all children get the education they deserve, we put both individuals and countries on a sure footing towards a stable future.
Let us renew our commitment to Education for All as an essential component of human rights, development, justice and peace.
* *** *For information media • not an official record