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Education Post-2015: Asia-Pacific Unites

Youth, government representatives and civil society organizations from across the Asia-Pacific today debate the future of education in the post-2015 development era.

The two-day regional thematic consultation (28 Feb-1 Mar 2013) hosted by UNESCO Bangkok, UNICEF Regional Office for East Asia and the Pacific (EAPRO), and UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) is part of an international movement to review the Millennium Development Goals and strengthen global commitment toward human development and poverty reduction.

The United Nations has helped to launch this international movement to foster broad-based, open and inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders to define the post-2015 development agenda. This involves global thematic consultations around 11 themes, one of which is education.

This thematic consultation on education is co-led by UNESCO and UNICEF, which have set up a regional Task Team to help ensure that voices from the Asia-Pacific region are included in global discussions.

For UNESCO Bangkok Director, Mr Gwang-Jo Kim, the meeting is of great importance.

“As 2015 nears, discussions on the post-2015 development agenda are intensifying across the globe. These discussions will lead us to a common vision for ‘The World We Want beyond 2015.’ In this context, our aim for the next two days is to develop recommendations for the future of education, particularly from an Asia-Pacific perspective,” Mr Kim said.

“Recommendations we together produce will feed directly into the Global Thematic Consultation on Education, scheduled for March 2013 in Dakar, Senegal. This makes the next two days extremely important,” he said.

In his opening address, Mr Kim also acknowledged the great diversity of participants involved in the consultation.

“We are involving government representatives, civil society, teachers’ unions, academics, youth organisations and students from across the region as part of the consultation. I’m very honoured by the diversity of participants we have here in the room and thank you for your efforts to go even further, including the voices of so many others as part of this important conversation.

UNICEF ROSA Regional Education Advisor, Lieke Van De Wiel, also acknowledged the spirit in which the consultations took place and thanked participants for their active engagement. 

“This consultation is a most important opportunity to present a regional perspective on the future of education, one which may carry forward into global level discussions on a global development agenda beyond 2015,” Ms Van De Wiel said.

“It is a great pleasure to see so many stakeholders actively engaged in this discussion,” she said. 

Participants at the consultation are tasked with concrete objectives over the two days of discussions:

•  Take stock of and exchange information on regional and national processes of consultation and dialogue on education in the post-2015 agenda;

•  Identify areas of key importance for education and learning for the future for the region;

•  Discuss how to best articulate and position education as a critical part of the post-2015 development agenda;

•  Formulate recommendations on the way forward. 

The outcomes and recommendations from this Asia-Pacific consultation will feed into the Global Thematic Consultation on Education, planned for March 2013 in Dakar, Senegal. They will also be reflected in the ESCAP Regional Post-2015 Report. Ultimately, it will feed into the global UN report on the post-2015 agenda.

For more information, visit Education Beyond 2015 on the UNESCO website.

Follow UNESCO Bangkok's Twitter Page and subscribe to UNESCO Education in Asia-Pacific's Facebook Page to keep abreast of what is happening in the regional thematic consultation on education.