United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Director-General addresses EFA Global Monitoring Report Advisory Board

On Tuesday 26 May 2009, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, addressed the opening of the first meeting of the newly formed Advisory Board of the Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report (GMR) at the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) in Paris.

The meeting was chaired by Ms Marcela Gajardo, Director of the Programa de Promoción de Reforma Educativa de América Latina y el Caribe (PREAL).

Mr Matsuura welcomed the recent transformation of the GMR Editorial Board into an Advisory Board, which he said better reflected the group’s function. He noted that broadening the Board’s membership was another very positive development. “The Board now includes greater representation from countries of the South and from civil society, as well as more experts who can guide the GMR team on particular themes. I am confident that the expansion of the Board will greatly enrich the Report”, he stated.

The Director-General underscored that since its first edition in 2002 the GMR had become an indispensable reference for policy-makers, providing high-quality data and analysis for the benefit and use of all members of the international EFA movement. “As we meet today, the EFA goals are facing some of their greatest challenges. With UNESCO, the GMR will have a vital role to play in ensuring that the EFA agenda does not become a casualty of the global economic and financial crisis”, Mr Matsuura underlined. He called for particular attention to be given to the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. “Even before the crisis, many of the EFA goals were off track. Last year’s Report showed the role that tackling education inequality can play in accelerating progress. I am pleased that the next edition will focus its attention on some of the most marginalized groups”, he said.

Looking forward, Mr Matsuura highlighted that one of the key challenges for the Report was to develop greater policy influence at the highest levels of government. “Now, more than ever, strong evidence-based advocacy for education is essential”, he argued. The Director-General noted that ahead of the G20 Summit in London he had written to world leaders urging them to boost education spending as vital both to spurring a recovery and laying the foundations for long-term economic growth. Mr Matsuura emphasized that he would continue to keep the pressure on governments to protect and expand investment in education, saying that UNESCO was already working with the Italian authorities to make sure that education figured prominently on the agenda of the upcoming G8 Summit, which will take place in L’Aquila, Italy, in July 2009.

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Author(s): Office of the Spokesperson - Source: Flash Info N° 097-2009 -  Publication Date: 28-05-2009

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