It is a crucial time for global efforts to end poverty. With the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) now fast approaching and mixed progress on the goals, the world is turning its attention to what should replace the MDGs post-2015.
Despite repeated pledges from the international community, including making universal education the second Millennium Development Goal, there are still over 60 million children out of school. What's more, an estimated one third of those children are living with a disability. That's a grossly disproportionate number compared with disability levels in the general population.
In September this year the UK will host the Paralympic games, the pinnacle of life time of training for many disabled athletes. This provides us a unique opportunity to bring the issue of disabled children's exclusion from education to the attention of the British Public and our elected representatives.
When it was founded in 2002 the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) pledged that it would seek to 'help get the most marginalised children into school.' Ten years on, and there are still millions of marginalised children who are systematically denied an education all over the world.
This month we are launching our 2012 fundraising campaign called Live Below the Line. We are using the campaign to raise awareness about the exclusion of disabled children from education and to raise funds for the work of RESULTS UK. Live Below the Line will enable you to start conversations with your friends and colleagues about the reality of life on less than £1 a day, and allow you to raise funds to support RESULTS’ advocacy on inclusive education and other development issues.
The European Union is the world's single largest funder of international development, spending €39.6 billion between 2006-2013 alone. The next EU budget, which runs from 2014-2020, is currently under discussion and 2012 is a key year for influencing those discussions.
For previous budgets the EU has promised to guarantee that 20% of spending from their development related budgets would go directly to basic health and education. However, this commitment hasn't been honoured in the most recent budget.
In the year 2015, world leaders should be coming together to celebrate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the broadest, most ambitious and wide raging statement on the future of human development ever conceived.
Two members of the Oxford group met with Andrew Smith MP on 21st October 2011. It was a really positive meeting - Andrew told us about a constituent he had met on the doorstep the week before who ran a small NGO which supports children with learning difficulties in Uganda to access education, and he was clearly very enthusiastic about the work they were doing. He also said that he had been involved in the negotiation process for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as legislation for the rights of disabled people in the UK.
I met with my MP, Rob Wilson, yesterday and overall it was a successful meeting.
He seemed very receptive to the issue however was very non committal on attending the meeting, "if I have time I will pop in and listen" was the extent of the commitment.
He stressed that education is one of his top priorities but is currently focused in the UK, we talked about efforts to improve disabled education in the UK and specifically Reading.