Irina Bokova takes part in the first day of the MDG Summit
On Monday, 20 September 2010, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova attended the opening of the High-level Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly (MDG Summit), which aims to take stock of the progress made so far towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to define strategies to achieve the Goals by their 2015 target date. Nearly 140 Heads of State and Government are taking part in the three-day meeting (20-22 September) at UN Headquarters in New York.
Upon taking the floor at the MDG Roundtable 2: ‘Meeting the goals of Health and Education’, the Director-General underscored that health and education are integral to the attainment of all MDGs, and cited compelling evidence on the links between the two.
Irina Bokova commended the Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women and Children’s Health, which is “reinforced by this very timely debate recognizing that the synergies between health and education are key to accelerate progress towards MDGs 4, 5 and 6.” Irina Bokova concluded by saying that “UNESCO believes that Member States, the private sector and other partners should place Education for All at the centre of national development strategies and ensure that health policies systematically include an educational dimension.”
The Director-General joined political leaders and development experts on a panel to discuss strategies for making Education for All a reality by 2015 organized by the 1GOAL campaign. In her remarks, Irina Bokova called for a pro-equity approach that targets the needs of marginalized groups, in particular girls and young women. Emphasis was also given to the need for more financing, increased support for teacher training and stronger policy links between education and health.
The Event was organized by 1GOAL, a global campaign that seized the FIFA World Cup as an opportunity to raise awareness about education for all. The Campaign has collected 18 million signatures calling on world leaders to ensure that all children are in school by 2015. Queen Rania of Jordan, co-chair of 1GOAL, Kailash Satyarthi, president of the Global Campaign for Education, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director of the World Bank made statements at the event. Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF, Andrew Mitchell, Minister for Development of the United Kingdom, Erik Solheim, Norway’s Minister of Development and Environment, and Kevin Rudd, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia, took part in this panel alongside Irina Bokova.
Also on 20 September, the Director-General received the President of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and his delegation, with whom she had fruitful exchanges on future collaboration with UNESCO on post-disaster activities. Irina Bokova and President Ven Jaseung signed an agreement through which the Jogye Order made a US$400,000 donation to benefit the implementation of UNESCO’s programmes and activities in Haiti.
In concluding her day, the Director-General met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.