Post-2015 agenda should focus on education

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said that the Asian region and the Pacific should focus on education for its post-2015 agenda.

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In a written interview with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the UN leader said that the leaders in the region should place importance on education.

“Globally, leaders must place education at the top of our common agenda as we shape a vision for the post-2015 period,” Ban said.

By 2015, the region, particularly the Southeast Asia, would have its integration—the Asean Economic Community—that will enable free flow of goods, services and other trade. Asean is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

“The Asia-Pacific region should continue to lead by setting good practices, fostering partnerships through South-South Cooperation and mobilizing greater private sector engagement,” Ban said.

The UN chief further said that the region should have one “universal agenda” to achieve equality and unity, emphasizing on growth of inequalities being the most challenging issue between countries.

“Widening income inequality affects both rich and poor countries alike and hampers progress in social and economic development. A universal agenda to ensure that no one is left behind will be beneficial for all countries and regions,” Ban said.

“Such an agenda should ensure that no person—regardless of ethnicity, gender, age, geography, disability, race or other status—is denied universal human rights and basic economic opportunities,” the UN leader added.

He said that other structural causes of poverty and inequality—like discrimination and exclusion faced by women, girls, persons with disabilities, older people and members of indigenous or minority groups—should be eradicated and acted upon.

“There is also a strong need to enhance social protection systems for better social cohesion,” he said.

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