Mobilizing International Action
Extracts from an address to the Development Assistance Committee,
OECD, Paris, 2 October 2000
UNESCO has a key role to play in poverty alleviation and in translating
into reality the goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015. UNESCO's fields
of competence -- education, science, culture, and communication -- are
critical for empowerment, for creating an enabling environment for people
to participate actively in individual and social development through
education, respect for human rights, cultural and historical sensitivity
in policy design, environmental sustainability, and access to information
It is vital to foster the development of an integrated concept of education,
one that enables individuals to adapt to a rapidly changing social,
economic, and cultural environment and to continue to learn throughout
life. It is no longer enough to learn how to read, write, and count.
Education must also result in improved social conditions for the poor.
The financial contribution by the world community to poverty reduction,
education for all and health is a "make or break" factor. The responsibility
for resource provision rests mainly with national governments in the
South. A mutually reinforcing relationship must be developed between
macro-economic stability and structural reform on the one hand, and
growth and reduction of poverty and inequality on the other.
The international community must now mobilize itself, rethink the provision
and modalities of aid, identify new financial resources and mechanisms
and show that it is capable of practising what it preaches. A development
process oriented towards poverty alleviation, education, and health
should involve increasing both domestic resource mobilization in the
South and private international capital flows. The international community
should assist in the design of strategies that will help to increase
savings, attract private investments, improve the efficiency of local
financial systems, manage and reduce debt, improve public financial
management and make the best use of official development assistance.