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Fourth Meeting of the Working Group on EFA

22-07-2003 - Taking the theme of “Promoting Partnerships for EFA”, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today opened the fourth meeting of the Working Group on EFA at UNESCO Headquarters.

This meeting of the Working Group, a technical advisory body with representation from all major EFA constituencies, will concentrate on four key international “flagship” programmes or initiatives through which EFA partnerships are expressed: the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI), led and coordinated by UNICEF; the Fast-Track Initiative, in which the World Bank plays the leading role; HIV/AIDS and Education, in which UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) is a key actor; and the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012), for which UNESCO is the lead agency. The aim is to seek better ways to ensure the integration of these international initiatives into national action and to improve the linkages between them.

Other themes being taken up by the Working Group are the role of civil society in EFA, planning for the forthcoming meeting of the High-Level Group on EFA to be held in New Delhi, India (11-12 November 2003), and the preparation of the EFA Global Monitoring Report, including consideration of a new approach to literacy assessment – the Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Programme (LAMP) – being developed in collaboration with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

Noting that the international community at the Dakar conference in April 2000 had asked UNESCO to put EFA at the heart of its work, Mr Matsuura said that since becoming Director-General, he had placed greater stress on EFA within the Organization’s Programme and Budget. He further stated that: “Subject to the approval of the General Conference at its next session in October, UNESCO is looking forward to some modest real growth in its budget for the next biennium. This will provide an opportunity for me to allocate even more funds to EFA and basic education in general and to decentralize more funds to field offices”.

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