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Kofi Annan: Global champion of gender equality and education


Following the passing of Kofi Annan, 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations, Nora Fyles, Director of the UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI), writes:

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Kofi Annan, and want to express our heartfelt condolences to his family. The world has lost an exceptional leader, whose legacy as an internationalist, defender of peace, and champion of education will never be forgotten.

Mr Annan believed passionately in the transformational power of education as the foundation of all human development. He played an instrumental role in facilitating the worldwide adoption of the Millennium Development Goals, including the goal of making real every child’s right to primary education.

As a global advocate for gender equality in and through education, Mr Annan was especially committed to girls’ education. In the year 2000, at the World Education Forum in Dakar, he launched UNGEI as a global alliance for girls’ education and integral part of the Education for All movement.

Mr Annan believed in the potential of collective action through partnership to enable all girls to access the education they need.  Eighteen years later, although much progress has been made towards closing the gender gap in primary education, the world has yet to deliver on its promise of quality and equitable inclusive education for all children.

Following Mr Annan’s lead, UNGEI will continue to work together as a partnership to realise his vision of a world in which every girl, and boy, is empowered through education.  In this way, we honour his legacy and strive to help bring about real and lasting change for future generations.” 


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