6th Meeting, Cairo, Egypt, 14-16 November 2006

Education ministers from 15 countries along with senior officials from the main donor nations, multilateral agencies, civil society and the private sector met in Cairo, Egypt (14-16 November) to discuss ways of accelerating progress towards the six Education for All (EFA) goals set by over 160 countries at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, in 2000. The Prime Minister of Egypt, Ahmed Mohamed Nazif, and UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura opened the meeting, chaired by Egypt’s Minister for Education, Yousri El Gamal.

This sixth meeting of the EFA High-Level Group, which has met annually since the Dakar Forum, paid special attention to the goal of expanding early childhood care and education (ECCE). According to the recently released Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2007, ECCE lays strong foundations for future learning and all forms of personal development. However, half the world’s countries have no early childhood care and education policy for children under three years of age despite ECCE’s well-documented benefits for all children, especially for the poorest and most disadvantaged.

The meeting also considered how the education sector can provide stronger and more comprehensive responses to HIV and AIDS. Other sessions examined ways of strengthening partnerships among EFA stakeholders, mobilising more resources and improving the effectiveness of aid.

Related events took place before the meeting, notably a meeting of the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI, 12-13 November) and the EFA-Fast Track Initiative Annual Partnership meeting (13-14 November).

The Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2007 was presented at a press conference on 13 November in the Mena House Oberoi Hotel, Cairo.

A second press conference took place on 16 November at the same location at the conclusion of the meeting.

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