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Teaming up: Commonwealth Secretariat and UNESCO on education

On 30 October, the Commonwealth Secretariat and UNESCO signed a cooperation agreement to work together towards education goals, in particular the Millennium Development Goals and the Education for All objectives.

While a broader Memorandum of Understanding has existed between the two organisations since 1980, the new agreement is aimed at ensuring that they work closely together in key educational areas, sharing information, resources and expertise. Under the agreement, special attention will focus, among other areas, on

  • teacher resource development and management,
  • education for sustainable development,
  • HIV and AIDS education
  • inclusive and quality learning promotion,
  • gender education, and
  • the development of multi-stakeholder partnerships for education. 

The agreement comes at a time where collaboration and coordination is much needed to address global educational challenges, and where education is considered “at the heart of social, economic, cultural and technological development”, as Ransford Smith, Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, rightly expressed at the signing of the agreement.