UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon sent his greetings to all teachers of the world on the occasion of the fifth World Congress of Education International, currently taking place in Berlin, Germany.
The message was read out to all participants of the congress by EI’s General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen.
Below is a copy of the message in English:
-------- Message to the World Congress of Education International Berlin, 22 July 2007
The United Nations champions quality education for all, from early childhood to higher education, as a way to build a healthier, more equitable and peaceful world. Education plays a fundamental role in human development and equality. It helps to foster respect, tolerance, peace and security. Only by securing the right to education can we reach our internationally agreed objectives for development, including the Millennium Development Goals.
In our increasingly complex and globalised world, we face a growing demand for knowledge-based solutions, research and science. At the same time, poverty and inequality are widening the disparities within and among countries. For education to be a lever of peace and sustainable development, we must invest in equitable access to knowledge for all. We must harmonise international support and align it with country needs. We must build broad-based partnerships, bringing together governments, international organisations, donors, the private sector and civil society.
This years marks the halfway point for the time we have given ourselves to reach the Millennium Development Goals – agreed by all the world’s governments as a roadmap to a better world by 2015. To meet the target date, we have to take concerted action now.
This congress is therefore being held at a crucial time. I commend Education International for enabling educators from around the world to join forces in our common mission. In that spirit, I wish you a most successful meeting.