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The 37th United Nations General Conference, held in Paris in November 2013, confirms that member states, including South Africa, will prioritise Education for All goals and committed themselves to new goals for education, based on access, equity and quality and lifelong learning.

The South African National Commission for Unesco, which is situated within the Department of Basic Education, confirmed the outcome of the General Conference at a report back meeting held in Pretoria on Thursday, 9 April 2014.

Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga led the South African delegation at the meeting.

Addressing government officials and civil society representatives at the report back meeting, Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mr Enver Surty said that Unesco has been actively promoting the role of education in the follow-up to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and the current process for setting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Together with partners, Unesco is working to generate recommendations and define the way forward to inform the post-2015 development agenda,” explained Deputy Minister Surty. “It is now urgent to increase the engagement of line ministries, especially ministries of education, as well as other stakeholders from all regions in the goal-setting process.”