Director-General to Showcase the Vital Role of Education and Culture for Sustainable Development in New York

Less than two years before the Millennium Development Goals deadline, Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, will highlight the importance of putting education and culture at the top of the Post-2015 agenda, during her visit to New York from 11 to 13 June 2013.

The Director-General will take part in an education high-level event hosted with the Danish Permanent Mission to the United Nations under the theme “Moving from access to learning in the Post-2015 dialogue: why indicators matter and how we can use them well”. She will participate in the opening session entitled “the global learning crisis and what it means for development”, alongside Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Alassane Djimba Soumanou, Minister of Secondary Education, Technical and Professional Training and Youth Integration of Benin, Martha Kanter, Under Secretary of Education of the United States of America and Amina Mohammed, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning.

Just before this high-level discussion, UNESCO has released new statistics that show that 57 million children were out of school in 2011. In reference of this data, the Director-General will highlight the role of education in bringing sustainability to development.

The Director-General will also participate in the UN General Assembly High-Level Thematic Debate on Culture and Development under the theme “Culture in the sustainable development agenda” where she will showcase culture’s vital role as an enabler of sustainability. The thematic debate will provide a platform to discuss ways to build on the potential of culture to advance the MDGs and to foster sustainable development, and it will feed into the discussions on the post-2015 global development agenda by highlighting emerging issues at the global and national levels.

The Thematic Debate will also be followed by an informal Ministerial Meeting chaired by the Director-General on “culture in the post-2015 agenda” which will gather Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Culture and Educations from Bangladesh, Cape Verde, Argentina, Jamaica, Morocco, Guyana, South Africa, Philippines, El Salvador, Paraguay, Benin, Trinidad and Tobago; as well as high government officials from Brazil and Spain. In this context, the Director-General will hold an informal exchange of views on UNESCO’s work related to culture in the post-2015 agenda, with 11 Ministers of from ministries of culture, of education and of foreign affairs, as well as two high level representatives.

While in New York, the Director-General will also address the Foreign Policy Association on the occasion of an Inaugural Irene D. Pritzker Distinguished Lecture on Social and Economic Development under the theme “The Power of Culture and Education in a New Age of Limits”.