Tuesday, 23 April 2013 on 6:35am

Vietnam Hosts 47th SEAMEO Council Conference

SEAMEO education ministers call for greater focus on Millennium
Development Goals and post-2015 education agenda in implementing SEAMEO College

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, through its Ministry of Education and Training and with support of the SEAMEO Secretariat convened the 47th SEAMEO Council Conference at the Daewoo Hotel Hanoi, Vietnam from 19 to 21 March 2013 with more than 200 participants from 18 countries comprising education ministers, high-level government education officials, and representatives from international organizations from the SEAMEO Member Countries, Associate Members, Affiliate Members, Regional Centres and development partners.

During the Ministerial Round Table Meeting, important resolution of the SEAMEO Education Ministers include increased focus and support on the education-related millennium development goals (MDGs) and the post-2015 education agenda, particularly in implementing the SEAMEO College, a flagship project that was launched during the opening of the Conference.  The Education Ministers directed the SEAMEO Regional Centres to initiate activities that are supportive of these education goals and programme, and introduce a forum for future leaders through SEAMEO College in support of ASEAN community. 

Other important resolutions of the Conference includes the endorsement of “Study of Efficiency of Investment in Education and Skills in SEAMEO Member Countries to be conducted jointly by SEAMEO and OECD, the support to the Princess Maha Chakri Award to be launched by Thailand in 2015, and the strengthening of partnerships with other organizations and agencies in support of the 10-year SEAMEO Strategic Plan and the overall goals of SEAMEO.

As host of the Conference, Vietnam espoused a policy forum on the theme “Lifelong Learning: Vision and Policy” which showcased experiences and perspectives on implementing lifelong learning initiatives in Southeast Asia and other regions.

The 47th SEAMEO Council Conference also marked the accession of United Kingdom as Associate Member to SEAMEO, as well as the launch of the SEAMEO flagship project called “SEAMEO College” which introduces a platform for high-level discussions on forward-looking issues and concerns that will help prepare Southeast Asia for the challenges of the future, and support the ASEAN community.  The Conference also witnessed the signing of the legal documents of the SEAMEO Centre on Lifelong Learning (SEAMEO CELLL), a new SEAMEO centre based in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

His Excellency Mr Truong Tan Sang, President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam addressed the delegations and presided over the Opening Ceremony on 20 March 2013.  He underscored the geographical and political importance of Southeast Asia and its growing role in the world’s development.  He stated that education and training is recognized as one of the focus in cooperation strategy of Southeast Asian countries.  Finally, he acknowledged the contribution of SEAMEO to human resources development, and referred to it as the driving force behind the cooperation among member states in the region.

During the Conference, H E Prof Dr Pham Vu Luan, Minister of Education and Training, Vietnam was elected President of the SEAMEO Council, while H E Phongthep Thepkanjana, Minister of Education, Thailand was elected Vice President.

The summit of the education ministers and high-level education officials aims to foster stronger cooperation on education among Southeast Asian countries and beyond.  Beginning in 2013, the SEAMEO Council Conference is convened biennially. The Conference is hosted by the Member Countries on rotation basis.Thailand will host the 48th SEAMEO Council Conference in the year 2015.

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