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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2005 > May
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 19, 2005


First G-8/Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative Education Ministerial to Meet

The first meeting of education ministers from the countries of the G-8 and the Broader Middle East and North Africa initiative will meet at the Dead Sea, Jordan from May 22-23, 2005. U. S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will head the U.S. delegation comprised of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Thomas Farrell; Director, Office of the Middle East Partnership Initiative; Alina Romanowski, USAID Assistant Administrator for the Asia and Near East Bureau, James Kunder; and Director of Middle East Regional Initiatives for the National Security Council, Farah Pandith. Thirty countries have been invited to participate by the host Government of Jordan as well as representatives from civil society and the private sector throughout the region.

The United States views education reform and increased access to quality and relevant education as the fundamental basis on which political and economic reforms are based and supports the role of the education ministerial meeting in advancing the regionís education reform. The goal of the conference is to ensure that all citizens, including women and girls, receive education relevant to the needs of modern economies and democratic societies.

On June 9, 2004, the G-8 countries responded to the calls for reform from the Broader Middle East and North Africa region and announced a Partnership for Progress and a Common Future and a Plan of Support for Reform. Ministers from more than 20 G-8 and Broader Middle East and North Africa nations met in Rabat, December 10-11, 2004 at the first Forum for the Future. The Forum is the centerpiece of the partnership and provides a collaborative vehicle at ministerial level for expanding G-8 engagement in support of the regionís political, economic and educational reform efforts, in particular toward the enhancement of democracy and civic participation, rule of law, human rights, open market economies, and quality educational systems of excellence. Civil society and private sector representatives also meet in separate dialogues and then participate in plenary sessions of the Forum as well as in separate Ministerial events.

2005/531

Released on May 19, 2005

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