Former prime minister Gordon Brown is to become a global education envoy for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Gordon Brown, was the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time the Millennium Development Goals were agreed and provided strong leadership on development at the G8 Summit of the rich nations in 2005. In recent years he has often called for renewed efforts and bitterly complained about the failure of rich nations to honour their pledges. In a meeting of MPs in 2010 he spoke of a “lost decade for development” and when he was asked whether the targets were too ambitious to be realistically met he responded passionately, arguing: “To say that every child should be at school by 2015 is not an ambitious target… but a natural right of individuals. “It is a matter of necessity.”
As Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2004, Gordon Brown argued that:
‘While the nineteenth century was distinguished by the introduction of primary education for all and the twentieth century by the introduction of secondary education for all, so the early part of the twenty first century should be marked by the introduction of pre-school provision for the under fives and childcare available to all’ (Her Majesty’s Treasury, 2004).
He will now have the opportunity to ensure that Pre-school provisions are included in the global Sustainable Development Goals that are set to replace the MDGs after 2015. The evidence for the cost effectiveness of early childhood education is much greater today than it was in 2004. But he may still need reminding of his personal commitment. You can write to him at:
Gordon Brown MP, Carlyle House, Carlyle Road, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1DB. UK
See also: http://gordonandsarahbrown.com/blog/