Her Highness called upon socially responsible corporations and philanthropic leaders to support the cause of quality universal primary education, challenging the notion that primary education is only the responsibility of governments.
Her Highness appealed to major corporates and business leaders to bring their expertise and resources to the global education crisis:
“In 2000, the world made a promise that by 2015 all children would have access to quality primary education. Yet we still have 58 million children out of school who need help. I am worried that governments alone cannot solve this problem.”
Speaking of the Educate A Child programme she founded in 2012, she said: “Our approach is succeeding. Since the program began, we and our partners, have made commitments to offer opportunities to 5 million children. We have agreements with development agencies and private sector organisations across the world. We are advocating placing primary education as the first priority in global giving campaigns… But we alone cannot reach the millions more children who deserve this chance. To reach our goals, we need like-minded partners, we need expertise, and we need more financial resources.”
Her Highness praised the Republic of Korea for its model of private and public investment in education and its success in economic and social transformation. Korea is the world’s second biggest per capita spender on education; the Korean government allocates almost 8% of its GDP to education. Her Highness commended Korea’s transformation from donor recipient to Development Assistance Committee member, being at the forefront of development policy.
Opening remarks were made by Bang Sang-Hoon, the President and CEO of The Chosunilbo, followed by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon with congratulatory remarks from the President of South Korea Park Geun-hye. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke at the opening.