LONDON – During his time as Prime Minister of Great Britain, Gordon Brown worked to raise awareness for the global community and promoted global aid. Since that time, Brown has worked to use his prominent standing in Great Britain’s politics to continue the work he started with his Ministry.
Brown has been selected for a number of positions on influential international groups since his resignation in 2010. First, Brown was appointed to the board of the World Wide Web Foundation in. His place on the board is meant to work towards increasing global access to the Internet. Upon his appointment he remarked how “Africa is a new source of dynamism in the global economy,” and “sustained growth will have a profound impact, not only on the future of African nations, but also our global society.”
By recent statistics compiled by the Internet World Stats website, Africans only take up about seven percent of the world’s Internet users while accounting for about 14 percent of the world’s population. The World Wide Foundation works to increase internet access in Africa to encourage education and give Africans the same chances that other citizens of the world have.
In April 2011, Brown accepted a position as an advisor to the World Economic Forum (WEF.) During the 2013 meeting of the World Economic Forum, he wrote a series of blog posts on the need for support of education for young women. He has been a big supporter of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work raising awareness for female education.
To explain the importance of these campaigns for youth female education and support, Brown wrote about the need to “mark the end of a particular era, one typified by adult complacency… where instead of being silent about the exploitation of girls we are… ensuring their education.” Brown has used his position with the WEF to bring focus to these problems and advocate it at the annual meetings which bring together leaders from a mix of fields and industries.
This emphasis on youth education was reflected in Brown’s appointment by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as a Special Envoy for Global Education. With this appointment, Brown is tasked with supporting the Global Education First Initiative, which, according to the Special Envoy website, is focused on putting every child in school, improving the quality of learning, and fostering global citizenship.
The Education First Initiative has advocates in a great mix of countries, from the United Kingdom to Moldova, the Philippines to Jamaica. It also has a special mission focused on educating the children affected by the Syrian Civil War. At least one million Syrian children have been displaced by the Syrian conflict, and the U.N. Special Envoy has posted a petition on their site calling for “immediate education for the nearly 400,000 Syrian children now exiled in Lebanon.”
These calls for global education, and the movement to increase web literacy for Africans are important factors in the fight for global poverty. More education allows for more opportunities for global citizens, and greater access to the web is important in a world that is increasingly reliant on the internet. Brown could have been excused if he had taken time after his Ministry for himself and his family. Instead, he has remained active for the improvement of the world with his work making waves in the global community.
– Eric Gustafsson