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close this bookWorld Conference on Education for All: Meeting Basic Learning Needs - Final Report (UNICEF - UNDP - UNESCO - WB - WCEFA, 1990, 129 p.)
close this folder5. Education for All: Call to Action - Summary of Closing Plenary Session
View the documentCommited Partnerships
View the documentCalls to Action
View the documentGuidelines for the Future
View the documentA Beginning, Not an End
View the documentWe Are on our Way

Calls to Action

Three speakers followed with calls to action to the international community. Dr. Anil Bordia of India, representing the countries of Asia and the Pacific, stated:

Unless something substantial is done by everyone, we may not be able to sustain the momentum generated here.

What we are talking about is genuine reordering of priorities, in policies and budgetary allocations. We are asking for a decisive shift in favour of change and development within the frame-work of this development scenario, a shift in favour of human development, and more particularly in favour of basic education... and also for creation of an environment in which women have time and space in their lives to come together to learn, to organize and to assert.

The countries of the region have committed themselves to take a fresh look at the way in which the limited resources of our countries are reallocated, to see that basic education receives the priority it deserves.

Ms. Evelyn Kurihara Philbrook spoke on be-half of the non-governmental organisations present at the Conference at this "turning point in the history of international cooperation". The conviction of NGOs that change comes from the local, the grassroots, the people themselves, was reiterated, as was the NGO desire for genuine partnership and participation in Education for All:

To ensure that we build on the process that brought us here, and to capitalise on the dynamic and collaborative efforts made, we will need to discard our old notions of status and responsibility... NGOs... fully intend to labour both as independent, autonomous groups and as equal partners with other bodies. We will strengthen our... ties within the alliances associated with Education for All.

In introducing the Statement of Principles on the Involvement of NGOs in WCEFA Activities with Non-NGO Bodies (see Appendix III), the spokesperson stated:

Our desire for partnership is inspired by a new vision for education, one which sees culture, employment and development fully taken into account, and part of debt repayments being used for education.

This is not the final hour of a conference, but rather the first hour of a global movement towards Education for All. The success of this Conference will not be measured by our resolutions here, but by our actions and achievements in the months and years ahead.

J. P. Grant
Executive Director, UNICEF

H.E. M. Alaziamina Nzege of Zaire called for action on behalf of African states. He high-lighted the constraints facing Africa in meeting EFA objectives, due to a reduction in the availability of resources, caused by the fall in prices for African commodities, the burden of debt, and the stringency of past structural adjustment measures. He repeated Africa's concern that a considerable part of external debt be converted into special funds for basic education.

Given the scope and complexity of the problems which Africa has to face with regard to Education for All, this continent deserves special treatment. For Africa, the follow-up to this conference must lead to immediate action on a large scale.... African countries would like to insist that a follow-up mechanism based on structures at the regional and national levels should be immediately established.

Africa, at this moment, is launching an appeal for action... In the hope that this appeal will have the desired effect, African countries await with confidence the post-Jomtien period.