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Opening of the fourth meeting of the High-Level Group on Education for All in Brasilia, Brazil

09-11-2004 - Yesterday, the opening of the fourth meeting of the High-Level Group (HLG) on Education for All (EFA) took place in Brasilia, Brazil. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva gave the opening address, highlighting Brazil`s strong engagement with the EFA challenge.

Yesterday, the opening of the fourth meeting of the High-Level Group (HLG) on Education for All (EFA) took place in Brasilia, Brazil. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva gave the opening address, highlighting Brazil`s strong engagement with the EFA challenge. At the opening ceremony, which was chaired by Mr Tarso Genro, the Minister of Education of Brazil, a keynote address was given by Mr Arthur Zahidi N`Goma, Vice-President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and a special message on girls` education was delivered by Ms Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF.

In his welcoming remarks, Mr Koichiro Matsuura, the Director-General of UNESCO, thanked the Brazilian authorities for hosting the meeting, whose deliberations will be informed by the Global Monitoring Report 2005 focused on ´The Quality Imperative`. The Director-General praised the report as a major contribution to the global debate on education quality. Mr Matsuura drew attention to the fact that this year’s HLG meeting would be held back-to-back with the Fast-Track Initiative Partners Group. In addition, several side events are taking place – a workshop of gender parity in the frame of the UN Girls` Education Initiative (UNGEI), a Teachers` Parliament, a panel on EFA and child labour, and a round table on public-private partnerships and basic education.

The Director-General stated that the HLG meeting ´´ provides an opportunity for a last call for urgent action to accelerate progress towards achieving gender parity in school``, in light of the imminent target date of 2005 for achieving gender parity in primary and secondary education. He also stressed the importance of closing the financing gap in regard to EFA: ´´Donors have made commitments and pledges and it is important there is real delivery. Otherwise, the credibility of the whole EFA enterprise is put at risk``, he said.

Mr Matsuura pointed out that, since the last HLG meeting in New Delhi, India, the Organization had undertaken a strategic review of UNESCO´s post-Dakar role in EFA. He said that, as a result of the strategic review, UNESCO now saw more clearly the need to strengthen its contribution to EFA in two main directions: first, in the area of its international coordination role and, second, in translating global commitments into practical action in Member States. The latter would require UNESCO to further enhance its field-level presence and action, especially in key countries, and this would necessitate additional support over and above its own existing resources: ´´It is a challenge to our Organization, our Member States and our partners, if we are to fulfil our mandate effectively,`` he said.

Prior to the opening ceremony, the Director-General had separate bilateral discussions with President Lula and Mr Tarso, the Brazilian Minister of Education. In addition, he had a bilateral meeting with Mr Zhou Ji, Minister of Education of China, with special regard to the preparation of the next HLG meeting in Beijing, China, on 29-30 November 2005, when the theme would be literacy.


Source Flash Info 176-2004

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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