In the framework of its Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme, UNESCO is serving as a facilitator for regular gatherings of Ministers of Social Development.
- Latin America
- the Caribbean
- Countries belonging to the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
- Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
- Countries belonging to the East African Community (EAC)
- South Asian countries
- Maghreb Region, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon
In order to strengthen the link between social sciences research and policy-making, and in an effort to address poverty and social policy issues in Latin America, UNESCO launched a meeting of Ministers of Social Development in the region in 2001. In partnership with the participating States, UNESCO undertook to formalize and institutionalize this Forum. It now meets regularly.
Given the positive feedback to the meetings in Latin America, MOST responded to the requests presented by countries in other regions to host similar Fora.
In November 2004, the Government of the Republic of South Africa hosted the first meeting of the Forum of Ministers of Social Development for the countries belonging to the Southern African Development Community (SADC). On 26 and 27 January 2006, the Government of Mali hosted the first Forum of Ministers for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries. On 26 and 27 May 2006, the Government of Pakistan hosted the first Forum of Ministers for the South Asian countries.
The latter two Fora resulted in the establishment of a Permanent Forum and the creation of a secretariat for the respective regions.
Cecilie Golden, c.golden(at)unesco.org