Bondevik joins fight for children’s education

Former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik will take part in a new international panel that will fight for children’s education in poor countries.

Mr Bondevik, together with the rest of the high-profile panel, will draw political attention to the need for education, particularly in poor countries.

Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim commented, “We have come far in the fight for education for all in poor countries. However, many children and young people are unable to go to school because they are growing up in areas affected by conflict and other disasters. It is here that we must focus our efforts.”

The goal is that all children should realise their right to education by 2015. Despite major advances, for example in Africa, there are still nearly 70 million children who are unable to attend school.

Mr Bondevik, who currently heads the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights, said, “I’m delighted to have this opportunity to work for education, which I have always had a great interest in. Much still remains to be done to give all children and young people in developing countries an education. We can learn from the achievements that have been made, and transfer this experience where it is needed.”

Mr Solheim added, “Mr Bondevik has a lot of valuable knowledge and expertise to contribute, not least in connection with education for girls.”

The panel will be led by former Prime Minister of the UK Gordon Brown together with Graca Machel. The other members include Queen Rania of Jordan, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and the musical artist Angélique Kidjo.

The panel is an initiative by the Global Campaign for Education – an alliance of NGOs and teachers’ associations from 180 countries.

Norway provided NOK 1.6 billion for education last year. These funds were used to educate children in such countries as Afghanistan, Sudan, Pakistan, Nepal, Tanzania and the Palestinian Territory. Norway is the largest contributor to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Press contact for Bondevik: Communication Advisor Håvard Kleppa, +47 930 54 086.

Source: Ministry of Foreign AffairsFormer Norwegian Prime Minister Bondevik

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