New York - There are more than 750 million adults who are illiterate, two-thirds of whom are female and including 115 million young people, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message on the International Literacy Day.
New York – There are more than 750 million adults who are illiterate, two-thirds of whom are female and including 115 million young people, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message on the International Literacy Day.
In his message, Ban flagged that today, with the world becoming increasingly digitized and information rich, new opportunities and challenges are emerging, with more than 750 million adults illiterate, two-thirds of whom are female and including 115 million young people.
Some 250 million children of primary school age lack basic literacy skills and 124 million children and adolescents receive no schooling at all, he added, noting that such obstacles to sustainable development can and must be overcome by developing and implementing the right policies, backed up by commitment and resources.
“We need to ensure that those out of school get access to quality learning opportunities, we need to improve the quality of schooling, and we need to promote adult education and learning,” he added.
On this occasion, Ban Ki-moon called on governments and their partners, including in the private sector, to join forces for universal literacy and build peaceful, just, inclusive and sustainable societies – a vision set out in the new global development agenda.
“This year, the world has embarked on implementing the ambitious and transformational2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With its 17 universal, integrated and interdependent Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2030 Agenda is an action plan for people, planet, partnership and peace,” the UN chief said in his message for the occasion.
“Literacy stands at heart of the 2030 Agenda,” he added. “It is a foundation for human rights, gender equality, and sustainable societies. It is essential to all our efforts to end extreme poverty and promote well-being for all people. That is why the Sustainable Development Goals aim for universal access to quality education and learning opportunities throughout people’s lives.”
However, the Secretary-General noted, while significant progress has been made over the past five decades, “the world is still very far from universal literacy,” and he called on governments and their partners, including in the private sector, to “join forces for universal literacy so we can translate the vision of the 2030 Agenda into reality and build peaceful, just, inclusive and sustainable societies.”
This year marks the 50th anniversary since the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed 8 September as International Literacy Day in 1966 in order to actively mobilize the international community and to promote literacy as an instrument to empower individuals, communities and societies.