14 Nobel laureates from across the world, led by Kailash Satyarthi, have appealed to the United Nations and the international community at large to “loosen the purse strings” and invest in education to protect children from exploitation and violence.
The joint statement came a day before the Oslo Education Summit that is aimed at mobilising “strong and renewed political commitment” for children deprived of the right to education, and to improve learning outcomes for those who attend school.
Child rights activist Satyarthi, the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner, made a clarion call for greater investments in education describing it as an “emergency” and said failure on that front would endanger “our present and future”.
“The year 2015 gives us a historic chance to script a new story for the earth and humankind. Since the turn of the new millennium will be the most important year when the global community will join hands in crafting the bold, ambitious and momentous Sustainable Development Goals,” a statement said.
Satyarthi’s office said that it was the first time that nobel laureates cutting across streams have come together to issue a joint statement strongly demanding increased education investment for sustainable development.
“Financing for education is an emergency. In failing to invest in education, we are failing our present and future. A sustainable society stands on the four pillars of – People, Planet, Prosperity and Peace,” Satyarthi said.
The signatories to the statement include 2014 Chemistry Nobel laureate William E Moerner, 2011 Physics laureate Brian Schmidt, 2009 and 1981 Physiology laureates Jack Szostak and Torsten Wiesel. They also participated in the recently held 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting.
According to PTI, it underlined that “168 million” children were trapped in child labour, and some “5.5 million” in slavery worldwide and the new global agreement needed to prioritise action to end trafficking and exploitation.
“We urge the international community to loosen the purse strings for future of our children, to protect them from exploitation and violence, and to invest in their education,” the statement added. Satyarthi brought together the members to sign the statement.
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