10 April 2014
Press Release

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

Secretary-General, Special Envoy on Education Team up with Celebrities


in Campaign to Get 57 Million Children into School


A high-powered group of world leaders, campaigners and celebrities will today join forces to get 57 million “lost” children into school today as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon co-launches a new global campaign in Washington, D.C., with Gordon Brown, his Special Envoy for Global Education.

Convened by Special Envoy Brown, the Emergency Coalition for Global Education Action will be announced at a 2015 Countdown Summit to pressure the international community into taking action on behalf of children everywhere.  Secretary-General Ban will also address the Summit during the launch.

The launch comes in response to the possibility of the international community falling short on United Nations Millennium Development Goal 2 to get all children into school by 2015.  At the current pace, it will be 2086 before all children are learning.  The Emergency Coalition, which includes singer and songwriter Shakira and actors Jude Law and Goldie Hawn, deems that unacceptable and demands that the international community take immediate action.

In addressing non-governmental organization executives, policy leaders and grass-roots campaigners at the Summit, Secretary-General Ban is expected to say:  “Today we launch the Emergency Coalition for Global Education Action — a group of prominent youth leaders and many others from around the world who are coming together to work even harder to accelerate progress until the end of 2015 to ensure all girls and boys are in school.  I am especially grateful for the leadership of my UN Special Envoy for Education, who has brought us together today for this event.  I thank him for his unwavering fight for children everywhere.  And I also thank Mrs. Sarah Brown for her support for global education through A World at School campaign.”

Mr. Brown is expected to stress the need to push Governments and non-governmental organizations to honour their commitments to out-of-school children.  He is expected to say:  “If we continue at the current pace it will be 2086 before all 57 million children currently not learning have access to education.  We made a promise to children worldwide that they would be in school by 2015.  “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.”

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For information media • not an official record