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Press releases > Paris 21/04/2000
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  Paris, April 21 - The convenors of the World Education Forum which will take place in Dakar (Senegal) from April 26 to 28 are issuing a joint statement calling for, and pledging, reinforced support for basic education world-wide.
  Here is the statement, issued jointly by Mark Malloch Brown, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); Ko´chiro Matsuura, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scienctific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank:
  "We, the Convenors of the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, in April 2000, "Recall that education:

is a right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
is a sine qua non for all economic, social and human development and for ensuring each country's equitable access to the benefits of globalization;
plays a fundamental role in promoting civil and international peace as well as mutual respect for cultures and peoples;

  "Assert that Education for All should be placed within a sustainable and well-integrated policy framework linked to poverty eradication, population strategies, and promotion of gender equality and equity;
  "Fully support the basic vision and objectives promulgated by the world community in the Declaration on Education for All adopted in Jomtien in 1990;
  "Acknowledge the considerable progress made in providing basic education in some countries;
  "Alarmed, however, about the unacceptable, and often deteriorating situations in other countries, marked by persistently high illiteracy rates, large numbers of children, especially girls, not in school, gender and other disparities in education, and educational systems and content of inadequate quality and relevance;
  1. Stress the imperative need for immediate, strong and lasting commitments at all levels so as to ensure the effective provision of Education for All, in response to this inadmissible and reversible global calamity;
  2. Appeal to national governments, especially in those countries where neglect of basic education has resulted in crisis or near-crisis situations, to give Education for All, as a matter of urgency, the highest political, budgetary and legislative priority, to reach out to all those excluded from education, and to recognize that the pressing challenges facing Education for All will not be met without resolute political will, radical reform and new approaches, at both the conceptual and practical levels.
  3. Pledge to increase significantly the allocation of resources to Education for All and to redouble our efforts in respect of policy advice, technical cooperation, training and capacity-building, enhancing cooperation between governments and civil society, providing increased financial assistance to countries with a credible plan and demonstrated commitment to education, and expanding and strengthening the partnership for Education for All;
  4. Call upon the international community, development and financial institutions, multilateral, bilateral and private donors to support the cause of Education for All as an integral part of their global responsibilities; to ensure effective mechanisms of coordination and collaboration, in particular at country level; and thus, to ensure that no country with serious resolve and viable plans to achieve Education for All is thwarted by lack of resources;
  5. Urge non-governmental organizations, the media and civil society at large, including the private sector, to continue their mobilization, and strengthen their participation in Education for All, particularly through innovative strategies, in support of the public authorities' efforts to discharge their obligation of ensuring education universally."
For more information:
contact the World Education Forum media co-ordination office
at tel (221) 826 80 52 or (221) 641 8281
or email
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