Remarks by Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, at press briefing on Education Plus initiative

As prepared for delivery

02 October 2020

NEW YORK, 2 October 2020 – "UNICEF is proud to join our agency partners here today to put the spotlight on adolescent girls.

"Adolescent girls are a tremendous engine of progress. They drive economies. They transform communities. And they lead change around the world. 

"But only if we give them that chance.

"Only if we support them with the right resources and support.

"Ending child marriage. Preventing abuse and violence. Supporting their health at every stage of development.

"And finding new ways to provide the greatest tool of all — education.

"This starts with closing the digital divide, so all children and young people — especially girls — can access education and skills no matter where they live.

"Especially digital skills, which are crucial to the 21st century economy.

"Through our GIGA partnership with the ITU, we’re bringing partners around a simple but powerful idea — to connect every school in every community to the internet.

"We’re also building an arsenal of digital tools to help them once they’re connected. This includes our collaboration with Microsoft around the Learning Passport — an innovative online learning tool.

"By combining connectivity and tools, we see a huge opportunity not only to provide education for younger girls, but to help adolescent girls gain valuable skills. No matter where they live.

"This is a key step towards our joint vision of at least 12 years of quality education for every girl, everywhere.

"And ultimately, to ensure that every girl has the chance to shape not only her own future — but the future of her community and her country. Thank you."

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