Leading education experts joined government ministers and United Nations officials today for a round table discussion on the link between education and development, part of the preparations for the UN Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) high-level segment later this year.
In his opening remarks this morning, the ECOSOC President, Ambassador Ivan Šimonovic of Croatia, said that education for all was the best investment a country could make for its development, and that strong national leadership, political commitment and financial support were the necessary components for such a policy. However, more than 10 years after the international community set the goal of education for all, more than 100 million children do not attend school.
Round table participants – among them ministers of education of Egypt, El Salvador, Gambia, Pakistan and Uganda, as well as education experts from the public and private sectors – discussed the notion of education for all, including instruction for girls, during the first morning session chaired by Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Afterwards, Sir John Daniel, Assistant Director General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), led a discussion on technical and vocational learning.
In the afternoon, the participants looked at advances in higher education in a session led by Prof. Johannes A. van Ginkel, Rector of the UN University. Later, they also heard presentations of good practices in education and development featuring case studies from UNICEF, UNESCO, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).