SECRETARY-GENERAL, AT HIGH-LEVEL EVENT ON FINANCING EDUCATION, CALLS SCHOOLING LIFEBLOOD OF NATION, BASIS FOR SURE FOOTING TOWARDS STABLE, FULFILLING FUTURE

1 December 2008
SG/SM/11968-DEV/2716

SECRETARY-GENERAL, AT HIGH-LEVEL EVENT ON FINANCING EDUCATION, CALLS SCHOOLING LIFEBLOOD OF NATION, BASIS FOR SURE FOOTING TOWARDS STABLE, FULFILLING FUTURE

1 December 2008
Secretary-General
SG/SM/11968 DEV/2716
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL, AT HIGH-LEVEL EVENT ON FINANCING EDUCATION, CALLS SCHOOLING

LIFEBLOOD OF NATION, BASIS FOR SURE FOOTING TOWARDS STABLE, FULFILLING FUTURE

Following are Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the High-Level Event on Financing Education to Achieve the Education for All Goals, in Doha on Sunday, 30 November:

I am delighted to join you for this high-level event.

I would like to express my gratitude to the Government of Qatar and Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned for hosting this important event.

Let me also commend UNESCO [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization] and Director-General [Koichiro] Matsuura for their role in bringing us together today.

The impact of the world’s financial crisis on the development gains in education made since 2000 is a major concern for all countries and all citizens.  It is of greatest concern, however, for the most vulnerable populations.

The Millennium Development Goals cannot be achieved without education.

Education at every age plays an empowering and essential role in reducing poverty and building better livelihoods.  It promotes innovation, communication and mutual understanding.  Quite apart from being a Millennium Development Goal in and of itself, education can also be a catalyst for progress towards other goals, such as public health and gender equality.  It is, in short, the lifeblood for a nation’s future economic growth and prosperity.

Yet, 75 million children around the world have no access to education.  Millions more in poor communities are receiving only a very basic education.

And in areas of conflict, a child continuously prevented from attending school is too often the rule, not the exception.  We should heed the recent joint appeal by 31 Nobel Peace Prize winners to focus more attention on education for children in countries affected by conflict.

At the United Nations High-Level Event on the Millennium Development Goals held in New York in September, world leaders and partners made significant financial pledges to improve health, education and access to clean water and sanitation.  Coming in the midst of financial turmoil, this was an encouraging display.

We must maintain this momentum.  If we do not reach children living in conflict, we put a whole generation at risk.  And by ensuring that all children get the education they deserve, we can put both individuals and countries on a sure footing towards a more stable and fulfilling future.

Your solidarity here today is very encouraging.  Let us use our presence in Doha to renew our commitment to education for all as a human right, and as an essential component of development and peace.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.