Lack of education provides breeding ground for terrorism: BanListen /
That's what the Secretary-General told participants at a UN special event to mark the 500 days until the target date for the UN Millennium Development Goals.
Mr Ban K-moon deplored that 50 million children around the world are out-of-school and said the UN vision is to see these children get an education.
He delivered his message during an interactive conversation with Pakistani education advocate, Malala Yousafzai, who survived a Taliban attack in 2012 for attending classes.
"Having been inspired by her, I had my own line that what the Talibans and the terrorists fear most, that is a girl with a text book. So I immediately tweeted and it got millions of support. A girl with a text. Because when girls are educated, when girls are enlightened, there is nothing that we can't do. And that is what terrorists and Talibans are really trying to see… they are very much afraid of that."
The target date to achieve the MDGs, the world's "to-do list" to improve lives and alleviate poverty around the world, is 2015.
As part of Monday's events, "MDG supporters" are expected to speak out about the need to accelerate progress towards reaching the targets.
The UN has said that it expects 500 minutes of MDG support to mark the 500 days left to achieve the targets.
Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.