Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Deepening Poverty Hinders Children's Education

The first-ever Global Model United Nations (GMUN) conference was held on August 5th. During the start of the conference, a senior United Nations official warned over 500 student delegates about the impact of poverty on educational development of children around the world.

“Poverty, like conflict, today continues to deprive young people of the opportunity and right to be educated,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka told over 500 student delegates meeting at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Akasaka said that the progress made in efforts to eradicate hunger have largely been reversed because of last year’s hike in food and fuel prices, forcing an estimated 55 to 90 million more people into extreme poverty in 2009.

With more than 1 billion people around the world trapped in poverty, many nations in Africa and Asia are not focusing on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a series of targets set by world leaders including the reduction of poverty and the achievement of universal primary education by 2015.

“Poverty is the number one enemy of children,” Mr. Akasaka stressed in his address to the students, who represent 120 of the 192 UN Member States. “Poverty is the number one enemy of a decent society. We must stand up and fight against poverty.”

Mr. Akasaka said that the general public and young people play an important role in the effort to achieve MDGs and they are making important contributions around to world.

-- Jaimie Hwang

Source: UN News Centre