“Now is the time to make Education for All a reality. Now is the time to acknowledge that respect for cultural diversity and languages is the key to social development and peace. Now is the time to face up to the challenges of an overexploited planet and to take steps to preserve it for generations to come.” In their annual meeting at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on May 20 and 21, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors reminded the international community that these goals are far from being met.
According to a UNESCO press release, the Goodwill Ambassadors urged governments and civil society to redouble their efforts to achieve “Education for all” by 2015. The press release also mentioned that the Ambassadors supported UNESCO Director General Koïchiro Matsuura “in appealing to donors to honour the promise made at the World Education Forum in Dakar in 2000 that no country seriously committed to EFA would be thwarted in its efforts by a lack of resources.”
Meeting on the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development and the International Year of Languages (2008) the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors “acknowledged that multilingualism is a passport to democracy.” UNESCO points out that, considering that half of the world’s 7000 languages currently face extinction, the Goodwill Ambassadors “also made a plea to governments to promote bi- and multilingual education and to respect mother languages in all countries.”
Read the full version of the UNESCO press release for more information on the recent meeting of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors