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Education should be central to the concept of global public goods – UN Special Rapporteur

PARIS / GENEVA (19 November 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Kishore Singh, has urged Governments to make education central to the concept of global public goods which is increasingly being discussed internationally.

Mr. Singh’s call came as ministers of education and high-level officials were meeting in Paris for the Education Commission of UNESCO General Conference in Paris during the debate on ‘Education beyond 2015’.

“The concept of education as public good is important in enhancing public investment in education. It is equally valuable in fostering the humanistic mission of education,” the expert said. “It provides the basis for regulating private providers of education so that the social interest in education is not sacrificed for the sake of private profit.”

“The right to education is an overarching right – it is essential for the exercise of all other human rights – and this warrants that education should be considered the foundation of the post-2015 development agenda,” Mr. Singh said quoting his report* on the ‘Right to Education and Post-2015 Development Agenda’, presented to the UN General Assembly on 28 October 2013.

“This importance should be reflected in bringing an educational element into all future development goals,” the UN Special Rapporteur stressed.

The independent expert expressed hope that the debate at UNESCO’s General Conference on ‘Education beyond 2015’ will lead to a better appreciation of the pivotal role that the right to education plays in national and international development agendas.

“I would like to especially underline the importance of taking a human rights-based approach, and in preserving the social interest in education, while promoting the concept of education as public good,” he said.

“I call for the universal recognition of human rights-based approach to development, including a strong focus on the right to education, in our collective endeavour in shaping the Post-2015 Development Agenda,” the Special Rapporteur underscored.

Kishore Singh is the Special Rapporteur on the right to education since August 2010. He is an Indian professor specialized in international law, who has worked for many years with UNESCO for the promotion of the right to education, and advised a number of international, regional and national entities on right to education issues. Throughout his career, Mr. Singh has supported the development of the right to education in its various dimensions and worked to better understanding this right as an internationally recognized right. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Education/SREducation/Pages/SREducationIndex.aspx

(*) Check the Special Rapporteur to the UN General Assembly: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Education/SREducation/Pages/AnnualReports.aspx

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