Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood has been elected unanimously as president of prestigious Education Commission of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) during a session in Paris.
Commenting upon his election, Shafqat Mahmood termed it as an honour for Pakistan and an acknowledgement of Islamabad’s commitment to UNESCO’s work in the field of education. He said he would work closely with all delegations in a constructive manner in pursuance of UNESCO’s objectives to build peace through cooperation in education, sciences and culture and to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030.
With Pakistan in the chair, the Education Commission would take up a heavy agenda deliberating on UNESCO’s future strategy and programmes for literacy, global/regional coordination for the implementation of SDG 4 –Education 2030, ways and means to move towards a global classification framework for teacher policy dialogue besides finalizing the draft text of the global convention on the recognition of higher education qualifications.
Since his arrival in Paris, the minister had a hectic schedule representing Pakistan at the Paris Peace Forum and as well as UNESCO General Conference. He was hosted by the Chinese minister for education for an exclusive lunch. Separately, he held meetings with ministers from Bangladesh, Norway and Tunisia and also met assistant director generals of UNESCO for Education and Culture.
During the meetings, he stressed the need for greater cooperation at bilateral and international level to ensure access to education to all school going children and to bring about quantum improvement in the higher education sector.