April 15, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON – South African President Jacob Zuma met with U.S. President Barack Obama this week and urged him to attend a high-level summit on global education in Johannesburg during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in June.
The government of South Africa will host the summit, which will bring world leaders together to highlight the challenges of and accelerate achievements toward providing education to all children. Providing basic education to all children is one of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, a set of eight goals to halve poverty worldwide by 2015.
“72 million children around the world are denied access to an education, more than half of them girls. A quality education means a way out of poverty, healthier communities, and a safer world,” said Joanna Kuebler, director of the Global Campaign for Education, U.S. Chapter (GCE-US). “This education summit will bring together heads of state – in advance of the September Millennium Development Goal Summit – focusing on the urgent need for education developing nations. President Obama’s attendance at the summit will show the world that the U.S. is committed to working with the international community to make sure all children have a chance to go to school.”
Speaking in Washington on Wednesday at the Jacob Zuma Education Trust gala dinner marking his 68th birthday, Zuma said, “My main birthday wish is that we achieve without delay, the goal of quality education for all the world’s children. That is why we have associated ourselves with the international 1GOAL campaign, which is using the 2010 FIFA World Cup as a means to mobilize support for a global effort to ensure education for all.”
Zuma’s remarks come about a week before GCE-US hosts a series of events around the United States to raise awareness of the need for quality education for children around the world.