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UN Launches 'Education First' Initiative

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi speak at a joint media conference at the United Nations in New York, September 21, 2012.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has launched a global education initiative on the sideline of the world leaders' gathering at the U.N. General Assembly.

Ban said Wednesday that "Education First" is aimed at improving and expanding education worldwide.

The U.N. chief says the new initiative was born out his experience of seeing the power of education while growing up.

"Education is hope and dignity," said Ban. "Education is growth and empowerment. Education is a basic building block of every society and the pathway out of poverty."

Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown assisted in the launch of "Education First."

Ban appointed Brown as the first special envoy on global education.

Secretary General Ban has appointed 10 member-state leaders of the initiative and they are: Australia, Denmark, Russia, South Africa, Guyana, Bangladesh, Croatia, Tunisia, East Timor and Liberia.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.