News bulletin board of UNESCO's Education Sector
No. 16
 
Welcome to the electronic news bulletin board of UNESCO's Education Sector, informing you about UNESCO's activities in the field of education and in particular the follow-up to the World Education Forum in Dakar (April 2000). Please forward it to other interested colleagues.
 

Contents (29 January 2001)

---> Pledge by the United Nations General Assembly to integrate education into all poverty eradication strategies

---> Update on meeting of experts to discuss resource mobilization for EFA

---> UNESCO organizes round tables at the World Social Forum (Porto Alegre, Brazil 25-30 January 2001)

---> Round table on EFA at the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (May 2001)

---> Regional up-date on EFA activities

---> Consultation on CIDA's basic education action plan begins today

---> Meetings in the European Union on donor co-ordination in EFA

---> Dakar documents: please order copies now

Attachment in this issue

---> Documents for inter-agency meeting on EFA in Latin America and the Caribbean (English and Spanish) : general information and agenda

 
===========
 

Pledge by the United Nations General Assembly to integrate education into all poverty eradication strategies

At its 55th session in December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly confirmed UNESCO's leadership role in the Education for All movement and in the follow-up to the World Education Forum. By adopting the resolution 55/586 on the implementation of the first United Nations decade for the eradication of poverty,The General Assembly emphasized the critical role of both formal and non-formal education, particularly basic education and training for girls, in the empowerment of those living in poverty

The General Assembly called upon UNESCO and UNICEF, in collaboration with other United Nations partners, to promote the inclusion of education in anti-poverty strategies, as stated in the Dakar Framework for Action.

The resolution also underlined the importance of microcredit 'as an important anti-poverty tool that promotes the generation of production and self-employment and empowers people living in poverty' (paragraph 15). In line with UNESCO's poverty eradication strategy, the Organization has recently integrated its micro-finance unit into the Education Sector with a view to developing integrated approaches towards empowering the poor, especially women.

Update on meeting of experts to discuss resource mobilization for EFA

The dates of the meeting of experts from bilateral and multilateral organizations have now been confirmed. The meeting will take place 28 February and 1 March 2001 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris and will discuss the mobilization of funds for Education for All.

Based on UNESCO's recent discussion paper entitled 'Development Partner Cooperation in Support of Education for All: Rationale and Strategies', participants of the meeting will specifically focus on the actions needed to put the global initiative, described in paragraph 11 of the Dakar Framework for Action, into effect.

UNESCO organizes roundtables at the World Social Forum

UNESCO is organizing two roundtables at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil (25-30 January 2001). The first roundtable, scheduled for 29 January, is devoted to 'non-state actors in democratic governance' and the second on 30 January will look into 'the connections/articulations between the States, the inter-governmental organizations, the non-governmental organizations and the private sector to promote the public good'.

UNESCO considers the two round tables to be closely related to the Dakar follow-up process. "We want to stress the importance of an open democratic process in implementing the Education for All goals," comments A´cha Bah Diallo, UNESCO's acting Assistant Director-General for Education, adding that national EFA plan must be elaborated in direct and systematic consultation with national civil society. "Governments cannot be forced to work with NGOs and civil society; they need to be convinced," she says.

The World Social Forum takes place at the same time as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It will provide an opportunity for building economic alternatives, for exchanging experiences and for strengthening South-North alliances between NGOs, unions and social movements. It will also be an opportunity for developing concrete actions, to educate the public and to mobilize civil society internationally.

Round table on EFA at the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries

UNESCO will lead the round table on 'Education for All and Development in the Least Developed Countries' to be organized in conjunction with the Third United Nations conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCIII), in Brussels, 14-20 May 2001.

"This round table is especially important as basic education is one of the principal challenges in the least developed countries," says A´cha Bah Diallo, UNESCO's acting Assistant Director-General for Education, adding that "We have to find ways of translating the Dakar Framework for Action into concrete action in these countries."

Regional up-date on EFA activities

Africa

UNESCO Dakar and other EFA partners (multilateral as well as bilateral donor agencies) have now drawn up 'Memorandums of Understanding' in Senegal, Liberia and Sierra Leone which provide a framework and financial resources for the development of national EFA plans of action.

In recent months, national EFA co-ordinators in five west African countries (Cape Verde, Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Senegal) have, in close collaboration with UNESCO regional and field offices, prepared draft work plans for the preparation of national EFA plans of action. These have been reviewed, revised and endorsed at country level, and UNESCO Dakar, in collaboration with the other EFA partners, is now facilitating the technical and funding arrangements required in each country.

Contact: A. Parsuramen, Director, UNESCO Dakar

E-mail: a.parsuramen@unesco.org

or Susan Nkinyangi, Senior Education Adviser, UNESCO Dakar

E-mail: s.van-vynkt@unesco.org

Latin America (1)

A general information note and the agenda of the inter-agency preparatory meeting for co-ordinating the Dakar follow-up strategy in Latin America and the Caribbean are now available and attached to this Bulletin Board. Convened by the UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA and the World Bank, the meeting will be held in the World Bank headquarters in Washington D.C., 1 to 2 February 2001.

The objectives of the meeting are three-fold:

1) To work out an inter-agency regional strategy for the support of national EFA plan of action. It is foreseen that Latin American and the Caribbean countries complete their national plans of action by the year 2001.

2) To define, co-ordinate and support mechanisms for the follow-up of Education for All.

3) To develop co-ordination strategies of national, subregional and regional attempts for the support of national programs.

Contact: Ana-Luiza Machado, Director, UNESCO Santiago

E-mail: machado@unesco.cl

Latin America (2)

A subregional meeting on EFA is being organized in Quito, Ecuador, 22-24 February 2001. The aim of the meeting is to create a subregional strategy for the implementation of the Dakar commitments in the Andean region (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru). Participants will include under-secretaries of education, as well as representatives of UNESCO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and the World Bank. The Minister of Education of Ecuador will chair the meeting.

Contact: A. Garcia Rivas, Director, UNESCO Quito

E-mail: uhqui@unesco.org

Consultation of CIDA's basic education action plan begins today

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) today launches a public consultation of its Basic Education Action Plan. The consultation will run though to 2 March 2001. To encourage the widest possible participation in the consultation process, participants will be invited to share their comments and analysis via the Internet. All interested stakeholders including development experts, educators, governmental ministries, non-governmental organizations, as well as concerned citizens and grassroots organizations in the North and in the South are welcome to participate.

For more details on the consultation and to find out how to subscribe, go to CIDA`s web site at http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/education-e.

Meetings in the European Union on donor co-ordination in EFA

The European Commission is organizing an information meeting on Dakar follow-up and, more specifically, on resource mobilization within the global initiative on Education for All. The meeting will take place on 9 February 2001 in Brussels and UNESCO's finance strategy discussion paper will be presented by Lene Buchert.

Contact: J. Paniagua, the Development Directorate-General, European Commission

E-mail: Jose.Paniagua@cec.eu.int

ActionAid Alliance is organizing a meeting on 8 February 2001 for members of the European Parliament in Brussels to discuss co-ordination of donor assistance to education within the European Union. At the meeting, Actionaid Alliance will present a recent study on donor co-ordination in education in Burkina Faso, Bolivia and the United Republic of Tanzania, highlighting the challenges involved in providing more efficient donor aid to basic education. Lene Buchert will also represent UNESCO at this meeting.

Contact: Joel Bedos, Aide et Action, France

E-mail: partenariats@aide-et-action.org

Dakar documents: please order copies now

The three documents: a) 'The Dakar Framework for Action', b) the 'Dakar World Education Forum Final Report' and c) 'Preparation of National Plans of Action: Guidelines' are, as you know, available in English, French and Spanish. The Arabic, Chinese and Russian versions will come off the press mid-February.

Kindly inform us as soon as possible of the number of copies of each document you can make use of, taking into account up-coming meetings and events in your country/region, and specifying the languages required.

All documents are also available on UNESCO's education website at http://www2.unesco.org/wef/en-news/Dakar%20Follow-up.shtm

Contact: Anne Muller (a.muller@unesco.org)