21 July 2016

UNESCO has recently launched the 9th Consultation of Member States on the measures taken to implement the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education.

The Convention, which celebrated its 55th anniversary in 2015, reflects UNESCO’s constitutional mission of instituting collaboration among nations to “advance the ideal of equality of educational opportunities without regard to race, sex or any distinctions, economic or social”.

The purpose of this instrument, considered a cornerstone of Education 2030, is not only the elimination of discrimination in education, but also the adoption of concrete measures aimed at promoting equality of opportunities and treatment in this field. It covers the right to education comprehensively.

UNESCO regularly monitors the implementation of its standard-setting instruments; this is done, notably, through periodic consultations. By launching a consultation, UNESCO requests that Member States submit reports on the measures they have undertaken to implement the corresponding instruments.

The objective of the Consultation is to illustrate the actions taken to implement the Convention, take stock of progress and identify the difficulties within countries.

The results of the 9th Consultation will be submitted to UNESCO’s governing bodies in 2017.

Guidelines for the preparation of national reports were developed for the Consultation, they provide necessary orientations for the preparation of the reports.

Civil Society organisations are encouraged to approach national authorities, work with them and mobilise their networks so that the process is participatory and involves relevant stakeholders.

The monitoring of the right to education in the context of Education 2030 and the Sustainable Development Agenda is of crucial importance to guarantee government accountability and transparency.

Beyond the reporting obligations, it is very important for States to participate in the Consultations. It provides a good opportunity to assess the progress achieved in this field and identify the challenges in order to adopt measures, as well as establish a constructive dialogue with all stakeholders including the civil society on this issue and share good practices. The reporting process needs to be truly participatory. Moreover, the information contained in national reports is used, beyond the formal monitoring mechanisms, to develop advocacy and information-sharing tools.

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