Magazine article UNESCO Courier

The Delhi Declaration

Magazine article UNESCO Courier

The Delhi Declaration

Article excerpt

From 13 to 16 December 1993, the leaders of nine high-population countrIes--Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan--gathered in New Delhi for the world's first Summit on education for all. The goal of the Summit, which was hosted by the Government of India and sponsored by UNESCO, UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was to mobilize high-level political support and financial and technical resources for the achievement of universal primary education and adult literacy.

These countries, the home of half the world's population, over 70 per cent of its adult illiterates and more than half of its out-of-school children, face major obstacles as they seek to achieve these goals. The size of the challenge confronting them is indicated by their population numbers, rapid demographic growth, vast distances, and excessive urbanization combined with the existence of geographically remote and scattered rural populations of great cultural and linguistic diversity.

At the same time, these countries contain tremendous potential for the future, given their impressive scientific and technological capabilities, the rapid advances they have made towards industrialization, their large numbers of trained and highly qualified personnel, and the possibilities open to them of benefiting from economies of scale in education and other fields.

Taking into account these facts, the following Declaration was adopted.

1. WE, the leaders of nine high-population developing nations of the world, hereby reaffirm our commitment to pursue with utmost zeal and determination the goals set in 1990 by the World Conference on Education for All and the World Summit on Children, to meet the basic learning needs of all our people by making primary education universal and expanding learning opportunities for children, youth and adults. We do so in full awareness that our countries contain more than half of the world's people and that the success of our efforts is crucial to the achievement of the global goal of education for all.

2. WE recognize that:

2.1 the aspirations and development goals

of our countries can be fulfilled only by assuring education to all our people, a right promised both in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the constitutions and law of each of our countries;

2.2 education is the pre-eminent means for promoting universal human values, the quality of human resources, and respect for cultural diversity;

2.3 the education systems in our countries have made great strides in offering education to substantial numbers, and yet have not fully succeeded in providing quality education to all of our people, indicating the need for developing creative approaches, both within and outside the formal systems;

2.4 the content and methods of education must be developed to serve the basic learning needs of individuals and societies, to empower them to address their most pressing problems--combating poverty, raising productivity, improving living conditions, and protecting the environment--and to enable them to play their rightful role in building democratic societies and enriching the cultural heritage;

2.5 successful education programmes require complementary and convergent actions on adequate nutrition, effective health care and appropriate care and development of the young child, in the context of the role of the family and the community;

2. …

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