h1 { font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold; color: #666666; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; line-height: normal; visibility: visible; text-align: center; } h2 { font-size: 14px; } .Style19 {font-size: 18px} -->
We are here : Home / Publications / Newsletter / N°28, 01 - 2006


Education as priority
Letter n°28, January 2006

On September 8 2000, a few weeks before the end of the 20th century and of the 2nd millennium, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Millennium Declaration. Beyond the skepticism that this sort of action produces – how many declarations have remained in fact dead letters – the Millennium Declaration is nevertheless important. In effect, this Declaration consecrates the values that must underpin international relations in the 21st century : liberty, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and sharing of responsibilities. Starting from here, this Declaration assigns the community of State members a certain number of objectives to attain by 2015.


The Heads of State and government proclaim that from now until 2015 « children everywhere in the world, boys and girls, will be able to finish primary education and girls and boys will have equal access to all levels of education ». An objective both ambitious and vague.


Reading the first report of the Secretary General on the application of the Millennium Declaration, it seems already certain that this objective will not be reached. While noting that « almost all regions have reported progress in establishing primary education for all”, Kofi Annan accepts that it «must not be possible to realize the educational objectives by 2015 ». And his conclusion concerns more particularly Sub-Saharan Africa. This report of failure leads us to return to the Declaration itself, which from our point of view seems to suffer from a problem of perspective of the agreed objectives. It juxtaposes them instead of imposing a hierarchy. All the objectives are worthwhile but the priorities must nevertheless be clear in function of the relations that these objectives entertain. From this point of view, it seems obvious to us – and we never cease to repeat it – that access to education in the sense of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights conditions all the rest of the other objectives.


If one returns to the objectives fixed by the Millennium Declaration, it is easy to see that education is an indispensable base: whether regarding the fight against poverty and pandemics such as AIDS, environmental protection or the sharing of responsibilities, the enjoyment of all human rights, nothing is possible without access to school and knowledge. It is perhaps time that the politics of international organizations and states absorb this evidence in order to make school a top political priority.



Image :Photo tirée du site AIDH.org