On 1 July 2011, the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) issues a set of six commemorative stamps on the theme "ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) - Education".
Education is a fundamental human right and essential for the exercise of all other human rights. It promotes individual freedom and empowerment and yields important development benefits. Education is a powerful tool by which economically and socially marginalized adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty and participate fully as citizens. Yet millions of children and adults remain deprived of educational opportunities, many as a result of poverty.
Each year, the Economic and Social Council holds an Annual Ministerial Review (AMR), a vehicle for meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 target date. The 2011 AMR will be held during the High-level Segment of the substantive session of the ECOSOC in July at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
The theme for 2011 AMR is "Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to education". There has been tremendous progress towards Universal Primary Education (UPE) during the past decade, especially in developing countries. Limited access to education, high drop-out rates and grade repetition as well as poor quality of education, however, remain important challenges to the full achievement of this goal. At least 72 million children of school age are still denied the right to education due to financial, social or other challenges, including high fertility rates, HIV/AIDS and armed conflict.
The Education for All (EFA) movement is a global commitment to provide basic quality education for all children, youth and adults. The movement was launched at the World Conference on Education for All in 1990. In 2000, the international community met again in Dakar, Senegal, to affirm their commitment to achieving Education for All by the year 2015. They identified six education goals which aim to meet the learning needs of all children and adults by 2015.
The drive to achieve the EFA goals also contributes to the global pursuit of the eight UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially MDG2 on universal primary education as well as MDG3 on gender equality in education.