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UNITED NATIONS, Mar 18 2013 (IPS) - Around 75-100 education experts — representing governments, the United Nations, multilateral and bilateral organizations, civil society/non-governmental organizations (NGO)s, youth and the private sector–  will meet in Dakar, Senegal to  discuss achievements and challenges – specifically on both the “Education For All” goals and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The meeting, which is scheduled to take place March 18-19, will develop final recommendations to make education a priority in the UN’s post-2015 agenda.

The participants include Geeta Rao Gupta, Deputy Executive Director of the UN children’s agency UNICEF;      Qiang Tang, Assistant Director General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO);        Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth; and   Chernor Bah, Representative of Youth Advocacy Group of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative.

In a statement released Friday, UNICEF said as the 2015 target date for achieving the MDGs approaches, the United Nations Development Group is facilitating a “global conversation” on the post-2015 development agenda through a series of national and global consultations.

The consultation on Education in the post-2015 Development Agenda is led by UNICEF and UNESCO.

Education is a fundamental human right that plays an essential role in reducing mortality and morbidity rates; eradicating poverty and hunger; strengthening resilience to natural hazards and ending abuse, violence and armed conflict. It is indispensable and should be on top of the global development agenda if we are to ensure a brighter future in the ‘world we want’ for all – especially for our children.

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