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Gordon Brown, the former prime minister, will become the United Nations special envoy for education – marking a return to frontline diplomacy. Brown will launch a new UN push on universal education in September, calling for a fund to finance schools and train 2 million teachers. The unpaid appointment by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki Moon, underlines concerns that the world will miss its target in 2015 to ensure that all children will be able to complete primary school. Unlike health, education has suffered from a lack of interest and cash from international donors.
Brown said: "My hope is that the Secretary-General’s ‘Education First’ initiative will accelerate progress not only towards the Millennium Development Goal on education, but across all the goals." Brown, who blogs for The Huffington Post, has previously condemned the international community for failing to protect the rights of children in countries ravaged by war to an education, calling the effects "devastating". In January, Brown called for the creation of a worldwide fund to combat what he describes as the "hidden and silent emergency in education".
At the time, he claimed progress towards the United Nations' goal of universal primary education by 2015 had stalled and urged the developed world to reignite the drive to provide education worldwide.