7 October 2009
South African President Jacob Zuma joined Fifa president Sepp Blatter and world leaders and star footballers from a number other countries to champion the cause of education for all at the global launch of the 1 Goal campaign on Tuesday.
The London launch heard via live satellite link-up from Blatter, Zuma, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, and Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.
Pre-recorded statements from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the leaders of Brazil (Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva) and Ghana (John Atta Mills) were also aired.
According to Fifa.com, 1 Goal aims to recruit tens of millions of supporters through a mass sign-up campaign “to achieve a school place for the 75-million children out of school globally.” The campaign is pushing for:
- Governments to give more aid to education – an extra US$7-billion is needed – and stand by their current pledges.
- Greater investment for more teachers, textbooks and schools in developing countries.
- The millions of people in the developing world to understand the importance of sending their children to school.
“We are signing up to the 1 Goal campaign today because we believe that it is the responsibility for every government to make their commitment to tackle this indefensible situation,” Zuma said via satellite link-up.
“We support the footballers and their fans in calling on all world leaders to do their part to ensure that every child can go to school.
“We need to see action at the World Cup and beyond,” Zuma said. “By acting now, together we can assure education for all.”
Zuma and the other leaders agreed to work towards a breakthrough on global education funding in 2010, in order to make education the legacy of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in Africa and poor regions around the world.
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said his government would contribute £1-million to the campaign each year, and called on all international leaders to “come on board and join us as we pledge our support to this campaign for the best of our children.”
UN chief Ban Ki-Moon urge all governments, international corporates “and the world to support this campaign and ensure that our children receive education, which is key in changing the world into a better place.”
Fifa head Sepp Blatter said the 2010 Fifa World Cup represented a unique opportunity to mobilise energies around the globe to provide a better future for every child on the planet.
“What better legacy could the Fifa World Cup leave than to ensure that all children in Africa have the new hope and opportunities in life that an education brings?”, Blatter said.
The 1 Goal campaign aimed to be “a rallying point for concrete commitments by governments, the private sector, civil society and individuals to be true to our values of universality and to the values of football – an amazing school of life – with 2010 as the target date.
“Together we can make it possible. For education, for Africa. For the game. For the world.”
SAinfo reporter and BuaNews
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