Today I attended and spoke at an important meeting in Parliament with the Nigerian Minister of Finance Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown on the Nigerian schoolgirls who remain missing after their abduction on 14th April. Dr Okonjo-Iweala talked about the Safe Schools Initiative which has been launched in Nigeria to ensure that each child - boy and girl - is able to get an education in a safe environment.
In April I started a campaign in Parliament to raise awareness of the case, and the UK Government responded by being one of the first countries to provide support for the Nigerian authorities in their efforts to find the schoolgirls and bring them safely back to their families. At the meeting I talked about the importance of standing with the Nigerian Government and backing the right of every girl to get an education. Many attended, including MPs from all parties and members of the Nigerian Diaspora, which highlighted the high level of concern and support for efforts to bring the girls home.
Other speakers on the panel were Justine Greening MP, Secretary of State for International Development, Malcolm Bruce MP, Chair of the International Development Select Committee and Nduka Obaigbena, President of the Newspapers Association of Nigeria. John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, chaired.