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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

Meeting of Heads of EFA convening agencies at UNDG session in Geneva

On 12 July 2006, in the context of the thirty-fourth meeting of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) in Geneva, Switzerland, the preparation of the Global Action Plan (GAP) on Education for All was considered by the Heads of UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA and UNICEF and a senior figure representing the President of the World Bank.

In addition to the leaders of the five EFA convening agencies, other UNDG members also participated in the discussion.

At the request of UNESCO’s Executive Board, the EFA Global Action Plan is being developed in order to strengthen inter-agency cooperation and coordination in support of the drive to achieve the six Dakar goals by 2015. This UNESCO-led process, which involves intensive consultations with sister agencies at technical and higher levels, seeks to identify the strategic directions of each agency over the next ten years with a view to building greater coherence, reducing duplication and generating greater harmonization of efforts at country level.

At the meeting in Geneva, the Director-General outlined the chief features of the GAP process, explaining that the main document remains a work-in-progress that needs further elaboration and improvement. He welcomed the interest and engagement of other agencies and invited them to join with the five EFA partners in this important endeavour. He characterized the GAP as a “platform for future development” and said that “it is consistent with the trend towards improving the UN system and its coherence”. He said that he would report to UNESCO’s Executive Board on progress with the elaboration of the Plan and expressed the hope that the Heads of the other EFA convening agencies would keep their governing bodies informed of developments. Mr Matsuura drew attention to the fact that he had been invited to the G8 Summit in St Petersburg (16-17 July 2006), where key educational issues, including EFA and the GAP, would figure prominently in his remarks.

The meeting in Geneva ended with the five EFA convening agencies agreeing in principle to continue to work on the GAP as a platform for collaboration and enhanced action in support of national efforts to achieve the EFA goals. Agencies will continue their consultation process and a more fully developed version of the Plan will be presented to the sixth meeting of the High-Level Group in Cairo, Egypt (14-16 November 2006). The agencies acknowledged that the work on developing the GAP (“a work-in-progress moving in an agreed direction”) is in line with efforts towards greater coherence and complementarity within the UN system and with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and Donor Harmonization. It was recognized that, in the context of the Millennium Development Goals and the wider development agenda, the Plan seeks to re-invigorate efforts to achieve the EFA goals and will serve as a framework for strengthened cooperation and coordinated action among all EFA partners at country level.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash info n°116-2006
  • 18-07-2006
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