United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNESCO and ALECSO call for reinforcing cooperation in favour of education reform in the Arab world

UNESCO Director-General, Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura, and the Director-General of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), Mr. Mongi Bousnina met at UNESCO’s Headquarters on 18 October 2006 in order to discuss the means of strengthening cooperation between the two organizations, notably by a systematic reinforcement of exchange of information.

Recalling the common objectives pursued by ALECSO and UNESCO, Mr. Bousnina and Mr. Matsuura welcomed the quality of cooperation pursued, while stressing the necessity of a increasing synergy between their programmes and projects.

In their discussion, Mr. Bousnina presented his desire of seeing UNESCO closely associated to the preparation of a report on the reform of the education system in the Arab world. This report is intended to be adopted by the next Summit of the Arab League which will take place in March 2007 in Charm el Sheikh, Egypt, under the presidency of Saudi Arabia. The report was the subject of debates during the 5th conference of the Arab Education Ministers, held in Cairo on 10-11 September 2006, and should be approved by ALECSO’s General Conference, to be held in Tunis, Tunisia in December 2006.

Mr. Matsuura welcomed the proposed cooperation. He assured Mr. Bousnina of UNESCO’s willingness and full availability to accompany ALECSO throughout the different national and regional initiatives in favour of the education system reform currently being promoted in the Arab world. “We will make sure to respond to this perspective of reform, notably in what concerns training teachers, revising the curricula and capacity development, through our cluster offices and regional offices for education. In this manner we can actively participate in reaching the Millennium Development Goals and Education for All,” declared Mr. Matsuura. At this meeting, the two officials also agreed on the necessity for stronger coordination of their policies, for fund raising and mobilization of the donor community.

Finally Mr. Matsuura and Mr. Bousnina recalled the different projects that are put in place by the two organizations in favour of Lebanon’s reconstruction. In this respect, Mr. Bousnina presented the results of the meeting of the Economic and Social Council of the Arab League, held in Beyrouth last 16 October. The meeting brought together civil society representatives, regional organizations and different Arab funds to discuss, particularly, aid policy in Lebanon. While detailing the different initiatives already taken by UNESCO, notably in safeguarding Cultural Heritage, Mr. Matsuura underlined that a UNESCO Intersectoral mission would soon be sent to Lebanon in order to finalize a strategy of assistance to reconstruction with the Lebanese authorities. He also noted that the implementation of the different approved projects would be done in cooperation with l’ALECSO.

Author(s): La Porte-Parole - Source: Flash info n°163-2006 -  Publication Date: 19-10-2006

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