25 September 2013

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General, Marking Education Initiative’s First Anniversary, Urges


Greater Attention to Quality Learning, Reversal of Decline in Funding


Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message for the first anniversary of the Global Education First Initiative, to be observed on 25 September:

Quality education for all is essential for sustainable development and the fight against poverty and exclusion.  That is why I launched the Global Education First Initiative in 2012.

Our efforts are bearing fruit.  Education is regaining its rightful place on the global agenda.  Young people have led the way, inspired by the courage of Malala Yousafzai.  We stand with them in demanding the rights of the 57 million children denied an education and the millions more who need better schooling.

Encouraged by the Global Education First Initiative, Governments and development partners are working to get every child in school and learning well to equip them for life in the twenty-first century.  There is new momentum in countries with the greatest needs, such as those affected by conflict, which are home to half of all children lacking education.

But we must do more — much more.  Educating the poorest and most marginalized children will require bold political leadership and increased financial commitment.  Yet aid for education has dropped for the first time in a decade.  We must reverse this decline, forge new partnerships and bring much greater attention to the quality of education.

I renew my call to world leaders to join our Initiative and put education first.  Education is a fundamental right and essential for shaping the future we want.

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For information media • not an official record