Gordon Brown statement after meeting Pakistani president
Statement from the UN Special Envoy for Global Education Following Meeting with President Zardari of Pakistan
For immediate release
Pakistan and UN Special Envoy agree on new measures to help Pakistan's five million out-of-school children.
* Petitions presented in front of 500 people in Islamabad, including children from Swat Valley, to President Zardari.
* Over two million signatures -- 1.1 million from the international community and 1.1 million from Pakistan call for immediate action on education.
* Goal set for one million Pakistani out-of-school children to petition for education by January 2013.
* April 2013 summit date set.
* Gordon Brown: “No bullets, bombs, threats or intimidation will deter education for every girl and boy.”
GORDON BROWN SAID:
“Today the President of Pakistan has agreed to work with the United Nations to ensure urgent delivery of education for all and to get Pakistan's five million out-of-school children into education for the first time. On the eve of Malala Day, I presented petitions signed by over 1 million people from the international community in honour of Malala Yousafzai.
These signatures were joined with another one million signatures collected by Pakistani civil society's One Million Signature Campaign to demand free and compulsory education. Another 100,000 signatures from out-of-school Pakistani children have been collected on the way to another million by the end of January. We will now work together to identify the bottlenecks to meeting the 2015 goal of universal education and develop concrete steps to deliver the world's promise on schedule.
Pakistan has requested to join the Accelerated Millennium Development Goal Framework process that will allow the country to assess its current education plans, strategies and bottlenecks in consultation with international organizations.
A deadline for an agreement on an accelerated plan for reaching MDG 2 has been set for April 2013 when the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, President of the World Bank Jim Kim and myself, alongside the heads of major international agencies such as UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA and the Global Partnership for Education, will meet in Washington with the Ministers of Education and Finance of Pakistan. We will harness international and domestic support for realizing the 2015 goal.
The April meeting will be preceded by five months of intensive in-country work with the Pakistan government, civil authorities and foundations, as well as international organizations, to ensure that a detailed, budgeted plan delivers quality education for every girl and boy with teachers, books and classrooms by 2015.
I have suggested to the President that he consider convening all educational organisations from civil society interested in achieving the universal goal.
I am pleased that as part of the measures announced today, 3 million children in poor families will receive cash transfers in return for going to school.
Malala's dreams represent what is best about Pakistan. Three million girls should not be denied their right to schooling any longer. Children who are barred from school today should be provided quality learning opportunities as quickly as possible.
I have said that the international community will work to provide financial and technical support to Pakistan as long as it also makes a domestic commitment and delivers on putting education first.
Pakistan and the international community share the same goals - and now the issue is delivery. No bombs, bullets, threats or intimidation can deter the international community, working in partnership with Pakistan, to ensure we build the schools, train teachers, provide learning materials, and ensure that there is no discrimination against girls.
The plans we announce today are designed to speed up educational opportunities for every child to go to school, learn and become truly global citizens.”