As delivered



UNGA 61st  session

Third Committee

Agenda item 60 (c)













13 October 2006


Mr. Chairman,


My delegation has the honor to introduce the draft resolution entitled “United Nations Literacy Decade: Education for All” contained in document A/C.3/61/L.4. on behalf of the following countries, i.e. Armenia, Brazil, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Panama, Russian Federation, Senegal and my own country Mongolia.


Four years have past since the launch of the United Nations Literacy Decade in February 2003. Despite the efforts exerted by Member States and other stakeholders to implement the goals and objectives of the Decade and its International Plan of Action literacy still remains a distant dream for over 771 million adults and 100 million children worldwide. This is an unacceptable situation in a world where the access to literacy and education is a fundamental human right and an opportunity to growth and development.


Mr. Chairman,


It goes without saying that illiteracy is a serious challenge that needs more attention and resources than it is currently receiving. It is closely interrelated and interlinked with many other problems, and first of all, with the eradication of poverty. The fact that the map of illiteracy continues to overlap with the map of social, gender and ethnic inequalities, makes the struggle for literacy a struggle not only for education goals, but also for social justice, human dignity and empowerment. We can not succeed in eradicating poverty and unemployment, promoting human rights and social justice, democracy and development, without eliminating illiteracy. 


Last year at the World Summit our leaders emphasized the critical role of both formal and informal education in the achievement of poverty eradication and other development goals as envisaged in the Millennium Declaration, in particular basic education and training for eliminating illiteracy.


As we are coming close to the Decade’s mid-term review all stakeholders, both domestic and international, ought to intensify their collective work and translate into practical action the political and financial commitment to achieving the expected outcomes of the Literacy Decade and its International Plan of Action. To that end the draft resolution requests UNESCO to reinforce its lead role in coordinating and catalyzing the activities of the Decade at the regional and international levels, prepare and conduct the mid-decade review in collaboration with all Decade partners during 2007 and 2008 and submit its results to the General Assembly. It is unlikely that the goals of the Decade will be met unless redoubled actions are taken and the issue of literacy is placed high on the national agendas. Therefore, the draft resolution further requests all UN relevant entities of the United Nations system, particularly UNESCO to take immediate, concrete steps to address the needs of countries with high illiteracy rates and/or with large populations of illiterate adults with particular regard to women.


      Mr. Chairman,


            May I inform the Committee that as a result of the informal consultations              on the draft resolution the following changes have been agreed to be inserted into the preambular part. They are:


On PP 3:


- please replace the beginning of the para. “Recalling further” by the word “Reaffirming”;


-          at the end of the para. after the words “… for eradicating illiteracy” please insert the following phrase: “and the need to strive for expanded secondary and higher education as well as vocational education and technical training, especially for girls and women, the creation of human resources and infrastructure capabilities and the empowerment of those living in poverty” .


       On PP 8:


-          on the second line please replace the phrase “ that over 100 million children are still out of school” by the following “and about 100 million children of primary school age are still not enrolled in primary schools”.



Mr. Chairman, consultations are still going on one of the operative paragraphs and my delegation is confident that with the support and understanding of the countries concerned we will be able shortly to finalize the text and adopt the draft resolution by consensus as in the past. I thank you.