47th SEAMEO Council Conference kicks off

Updated: 2013-03-20 14:11


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HANOI - The 47th council conference of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization kicked off in Vietnam's capital Hanoi on Wednesday, with participation of more than 200 delegates from 18 countries.

Participants are education ministers, high-level government education officials and representatives from international organizations, from 11 SEAMEO member states, eight associate members, three affiliate members, and 20 regional centers and development partners.

Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan, Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan, and other senior education officials, attended the opening ceremony.

In his opening speech, Minister of Education of Brunei Darussalam and SEAMEO President, Pehin Abu Bakar Apong, said that the summit of the education ministers and high-level education officials aims to foster stronger cooperation on education among Southeast Asian country and beyond.

High on the agenda of the 2-day conference will be discussions on accelerating Education for All and the post-2015 development and education in Southeast Asia.

A policy forum themed, "Lifelong Learning: Vision and Policy" espoused by Vietnam as the host country is expected as a highlight of the conference.

In his keynote address, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang said that the Southeast Asian region plays an important role for stability and development in Asia and the world as well. Strengthening all-sided cooperation in the region with the spirit, "One Vision, One Characteristics, One Community" is always a special attention of the SEA countries, of which cooperation in education and training is considered one among prime priorities.

Over the past 20 years since Vietnam joined the SEAMEO in 1992, Vietnam has implemented strictly and with responsibility its obligations and actively contributed to the region's educational, scientific and cultural development, the Vietnamese leader said.

He also confirmed that as chair of the SEAMEO council for the 2013-2015 periods, Vietnam will try its utmost together with other member countries to fulfill the signed documents and programs of the organization, for development and prosperity of each member country, and for peace, stability, cooperation and development in Southeast Asia and the world as a whole.

Established in 1965, SEAMEO is an international and regional inter-governmental organization whose current members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

The SEAMEO Council, SEAMEO's governing body, is composed of the 11 ministers of education of the SEAMEO member countries.

SEAMEO collaborates with global and international organizations like the UNESCO, UNICEF, Asian Development Bank (ADB), ASEAN and others in the execution of its mandate, which is the promotion of cooperation in education, science and culture.

It is also supported by associate member countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain; The United Kingdom of Great Britain will becomes the eighth associate member.

Affiliate members include the International Council for Open and Distance Education, Tsukuba University, Japan and the British Council.

The headquarters of SEAMEO is located in Bangkok, Thailand.