SA participates in Unesco conference

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Paris - A South African government delegation is currently participating in the 35th UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) conference that is set to come up with an international educational programme for the next two years.

Minister for Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, who is accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Enver Surty and Director General, Duncan Hindle are representing South Africa.

"The conference determines the polices and main lines of the organisation, particularly through the examination and adoption of biennial programme and budget, of international standard-setting instruments as well as number of other decision on important issues related to the fields of competence of the organization," said the Ministry of Education.

Ministers and other heads of delegations attending the conference will have the opportunity to participate in both the General Policy Debate and the Plenary Ministerial Forum. Nzimande will also deliver a speech at the conference later today.

Conference activities started on Tuesday in Paris with the participation of 193 countries.

According to the department, several countries including Brazil, China, and Korea expressed their commitment to strengthen higher education in Africa, while private sector partners voiced their interest in supporting educational expansion and excellence across Africa and the developing world.

The conference will run until 23 October, during which delegations will determine the Program and Budget of UNESCO for 2010-2011 and elect a director-general for the organization.