Sebastião Salgado, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama: Education Takes Center Stage at UNGA

September 25, 2014
by Tony Baker, Education for All Campaign Manager

From arts to politics, this week has turned global attention towards education and its centrality to ending poverty, realizing human rights, and preserving the planet. The 2014 UN General Assembly in New York offered a series of unprecedented events and announcements that placed education at the center of the global conversation.

“A World of Dignity: Education at the Heart of Sustainable Development”

Partnering with renowned Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, the Global Campaign for Education organized “A World of Dignity: Education at the Heart of Sustainable Development,” an art-for-advocacy event highlighting the intrinsic relationship between education, conservation, and sustainable development — a timely message as the world’s governments negotiate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By exploring the immense diversity and beauty of the natural environment and various cultures, Salgado’s exhibit Genesis provided a powerful visual experience of the need for sustainability and conservation of life and the critical role education has to play in the future of the planet.

Held on Tuesday evening at the International Center of Photography and co-sponsored by RESULTS and several other civil society organizations, the event included remarks from government officials from Brazil, Denmark, and Norway as well as representatives from UNESCO, UNICEF, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), and Education International.

Alice Albright, CEO of the Global Partnership for Education, addresses the audience at “A World of Dignity: Education at the Heart of Sustainable Development.”


Citing the violent attack on girls’ education advocate Malala Yousafzai and the kidnapping of more than 200 school girls in Nigeria by Boko Haram, Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the launch of CHARGE (Collaborative for Harnessing Ambition and Resources for Girls' Education), an initiative of more than 30 partners, including governments like the United States, NGOs, and the private sector, that have committed over $600 million dollars to reach 14 million girls over the next five years. Developed by the Clinton Global Initiative with the Center on Universal Education (CUE) at the Brookings Institution, CHARGE was announced on Wednesday morning by Secretary Clinton alongside Julia Gillard, Former Australian Prime Minister and Distinguished Fellow at CUE.

The goals of CHARGE are to: 

  1. Ensure that girls can attend and complete primary and secondary school;
  2. Make schools safer and more secure;
  3. Improve the quality of learning for girls;
  4. Support girls’ transition to higher education and employment, and;
  5. Cultivate local country leaders to champion this work at the grassroots level.

Watch the announcement of CHARGE here: