For Immediate Release
David Bryden, Communications Director
202-789-0432, Ext. 211
GAA Calls on President Obama to Make Good on His Education Promise to the World’s Children
WASHINGTON - One year ago, on September 28, 2008, then-Candidate Barack Obama used
the world stage provided by the annual meeting of the Clinton Global
Initiative to promise that, if elected, he would work to create a
Global Fund for Education. Mr. Obama said:
"That's why the third commitment I'll make is working to erase the
global primary education gap by 2015. Every child—every boy, and every
girl—should have the ability to go to school. To ensure that our nation
does its part to meet that goal, we need to establish a two billion
dollar Global Education Fund."
"Since the inauguration, President Obama and the White House have been
silent on the creation of a Global Fund for Education, despite requests
from advocates and world moral leaders that he make good on his
promise," said Dr. Paul Zeitz, executive director of the Global AIDS
Alliance, and board chair of Global Action for Children. "Universal
completion of a basic education is a social vaccine; not only is it one
of the most cost-effective and equitable solutions to the economic
crisis, but it saves lives and is key to ending the global AIDS
pandemic," he said.
The Global Campaign for Education estimates that if all children
received a complete primary education, as many as 700,000 cases of HIV
could be prevented each year.
On June 30, 2009, in an open letter to the leaders of G8 countries,
Mrs. Mary Robinson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Professor Muhammad
Yunus called for the creation of a Global Fund for Education before the
end of the year. Their letter made specific reference to President
Obama's campaign pledge.
While the White House has not yet signaled action in response to the
June 30 letter, each of its signatories received Presidential Medals of
Freedom from President Obama in a White House ceremony on August 12.
Archbishop Tutu used that occasion to speak out again on global
education, and in an op-ed published by the Washington Times on August
16, said: "Mr. President, please do not to lose sight of this goal: We
need a Global Fund for Education now."
"The Clinton Global Initiative 2009 conference provides President Obama
with another opportunity to announce to the world that he is keeping
the promise he made at last year's meeting," said Zeitz. "The President
needs to know that the eyes of the world have been focused on the White
House during the past year, watching and waiting for him to make good
on his promise."
Brookings Policy Brief Series #169: A Global Fund for Education: Achieving Education for All
Global Campaign for Education: The Next Generation: Why the World's Children Need a Global Fund for Education for All
The mission of the Global AIDS Alliance (GAA) is to halt the global AIDS crisis and mitigate its impacts on poor countries hardest hit by the pandemic.