Ms. Mona Zulficar - Member of the Advisory Committee of the Human
Rights Council
Thank you Madam Chair, and for your swift leadership of this forum. I know
Gay McDougall is not here, and I already thanked her. But I wish to put on
the record also my appreciation of the very important work that she has
presented as well.
We have all agreed by consensus that inclusive and quality education is
not only a human rights but is a condition president for the effective
enjoyment and exercise of all other human rights.
I would like to add that at a time of global financial and economic crisis
which is unprecedented, it is always important to remember that inclusive
and quality education is also an engine for development, for social
cohesion, stability and security of individuals and communities. So the
priority given to inclusive and quality education should not be impaired by
the global financial crisis when resources are scarce and conflicts are much
easier to occurs, conflicts of interests.
We have also reached consensus that we would like there
recommendations to be output oriented and action oriented in order to
help re-enforce implementation of the existing universal and regional
human rights instruments. And as a matter of fact, implementation at the
national level are various plans and laws and constitutions providing for
the right to education for all.
So my next two comments will focus on implementation mechanisms. The
document the draft recommendation has mentioned in a couple of places
for special measures and affirmative action under core principles. And I
would like to recommend that this should be given a more important
priority and should be explicitly clarified as an important part of the duties
of the state to provide equal access and to provide especially vulnerable
groups minority communities with equal access. We have a situation where
people are underprivileged and cannot even if they get the same level of
education, or the same level of facilities they are already underprivileged
and suffering.
So we need to give them preference, we need to give them preferential
treatment. We need to give them special treatment to enable them, to
bridge the gap and to empower them, to exercise equal rights and in this
case because in many countries, when we plead for special measures and
affirmative action we are challenged that this is against the principle of
equality.

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