UN chief urges secondary education for teenagers for lifting poverty

Tehran, Jan 24, IRNA – If all girls and boys complete secondary education, 420 million people could be lifted out of poverty, said United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his message on the first International Day of Education, 24 January 2019.

'Education transforms lives. As United Nations Messenger of Peace Malala Yousafzai once said, “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world”', said Guterres in a massage, a copy of which was obtained by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) through the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) in the Iranian capital on January 24.

'Nelson Mandela rightly called education “the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”'

Saying that he had been a teacher before, he added, 'In the slums of Lisbon, I saw that education is an engine for poverty eradication and a force for peace.'

'Today, education is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals,' and added that the world needs education 'to reduce inequalities and improve health', 'to achieve gender equality and eliminate child marriage', 'to protect our planet’s resources,' and 'to fight hate speech, xenophobia and intolerance, and to nurture global citizenship.'

Guterres said that 'at least 262 million children, adolescents and youth are out of school, most of them girls.'

He added that 'far more' is needed 'to advance Sustainable Development Goal 4', which is 'to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.'

He urged the world to 'prioritize education as a public good; support it with cooperation, partnerships and funding; and recognize that leaving no one behind starts with education.'

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