Education MDGs have “serious unfinished business”

Education representatives from business, government, academia, civil society, and the development and donor communities gathered in Port Louis, Mauritius today to discuss and debate practical measures to transform education delivery around the Commonwealth. They met at the 18CCEM Stakeholders’ Forum - a major international education conference supporting the 18th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers. Hon. Charles-Gaëtan Xavier-Luc Duval, Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance & Economic Development of Mauritius, welcomed delegates to the Forum and highlighted the progress his country has made in education provision and quality since 1968. Speaking on the theme ‘Education in the Commonwealth: Making it Happen’ Ms. Amina J Mohammed, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning, said: “here we are in 2012 with serious unfinished business and only three years to go to achieve the MDGs and lest we forget, the six EFA Goals.” “It is not for want of best practice, status reports, civil society advocacy and citizens demands that we have failed. It is, I believe, a collective responsibility of governments around the world who articulated and signed onto visions and declarations, but have failed to give sufficient priority to education investments, requisite political will and timely actions that will give at the very least the foundations for an education that is NOT charity but a fundamental right of every child in this world of ours.” “What we need now is a ‘heart to heart’ discussion with sincere commitment at its core in facing the facts that from where we stand today, there is no ‘quick fix’ to the situation we find ourselves.” Mme Simone de Comarmond, Chair, Commonwealth Foundation addressed delegates at the opening session. Setting the scene for the Forum, she called for the serious examination of the capacities in education, areas where Commonwealth cooperation can be most beneficial, and thinking on the scope for the different education partners to work together to perform such functions. The Stakeholders’ Forum theme will be approached through three parallel ‘clusters’: Making Basic Education Systems Better, Connecting Commonwealth Education and Cultures, and Skills for the Future. A statement representing the views and recommendations of stakeholders will be developed during the forum and presented to Commonwealth Education Ministers on 30 August. ENDS Notes to editors

1. For media enquiries or interview requests please contact : Alex O’Donoghue / 023 930 8687 (Mauritius) or Claire Turner / +44 (0) 7553 388725 (UK)

2. The 18CCEM Stakeholders’ Forum takes place 27-31 August 2012 at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre (SVICC), Port Louis, Mauritius

3. The 18CCEM Stakeholders’ Forum is organised by the Commonwealth Foundation in collaboration with the Government of Mauritius and the Commonwealth Secretariat, in partnership with Link Community Development and Nexus Strategic Partnerships Limited.

4. View the current draft of the 18CCEM Stakeholders’ Statement

5. For more information visit and a full schedule of speakers:

6. The Commonwealth Foundation is an intergovernmental organisation established in 1965, resourced by and reporting to Commonwealth governments, and guided by Commonwealth values and priorities. It aims to strengthen civil society in the achievement of Commonwealth priorities - democracy and good governance, respect for human rights and gender equality, poverty eradication and sustainable, people-centred development, and to promote arts and culture.