Gordon Brown today urges the leaders of the world's wealthiest nations to join a $10bn (£6bn) drive to bring free education to every boy and girl on the planet.
Writing in The Independent, the Chancellor says the move would help children to "break free from the vicious cycle of illiteracy, unemployment and poverty". The development of an educated and skilled population would also help poor countries to expand their economies. The UN has set a target of 2015 for providing universal free primary education.
Mr Brown says he will urge finance ministers from the most industrialised G8 countries at a meeting in Moscow next month to draw up detailed plans by 2007 for achieving that goal.
"Offering primary education to every child is the most cost-effective investment the world could ever make. For $10bn a year every child in every continent could have teachers, books and classrooms. For less than 2p each per day, we could provide schooling for every child in the poorest countries," he says
"In 2006 and 2007, Education for All should not just be a slogan. It should become a global cause around which the world can unite that affirms our dignity as human beings."