“Responsibility of Governments must be strengthened in the Post-2015 Development Agenda” – UN expert

GENEVA (12 June 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Kishore Singh, today called on the world’s governments to ensure that accountability is a cornerstone of the post-2015 development agenda.

“The Report of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda presents many important ideas, and recognizes that the right to education should include secondary education, and a focus on skill development,” noted the Special Rapporteur.

“This is crucial in responding to improving quality”, added the expert. “However, the report does not fully recognize a human-rights based approach. Rights without remedies are not rights at all. The post-2015 development agenda must move beyond political commitments, and more closely reflect the obligations undertaken by States under international human rights law,” emphasized the Special Rapporteur.

“Emphasis on mechanisms to hold governments accountable to their commitments is essential,” Mr. Singh added. “As I noted in my most recent report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, courts, national human rights institutions, and administrative or quasi-judicial mechanisms are vital mechanisms for citizens to engage governments in order to ensure their rights are respected. I trust governments will work towards making their commitments, which are all founded in international law, justiciable in their national legal systems.”

“In this regard, the use of indicators is essential; it will enable legal mechanisms to better identify and assess whether government policies, programmes and their implementation are leading to improved education outcomes, and that vulnerable groups are not being left behind,” said the Special Rapporteur. Too often, in fact, national averages hide disparities among these groups, and do not show rural and urban divides, or disparate effects on the poor.

“Measuring, reporting on, and ensuring that any future development goals are nationally enforceable will be instrumental in achieving success,” noted the Rapporteur. “As we embark on more complex challenges, we must ensure that the right-holders themselves, the students and their parents, have the ability to challenge governments to meet their international obligations. I urge Member States to ensure that a firm framework of accountability with appropriate indicators is made an integral part of the post-2015 development goals.”

“Education is fundamental to the realization of all the post-2015 development goals and is vital to any poverty-reduction strategy,” observed the expert. He added, “Educating people about their human rights begins the process of realizing them, and so must be emphasized throughout the agenda.”


Kishore Singh (India), the Special Rapporteur on the right to education since August 2010, is a professor specialized in international law, who has worked for many years with UNESCO for the promotion of the right to education, and advised a number of international, regional and national bodies on right to education issues. Throughout his career, Mr. Singh has supported the development of the right to education in its various dimensions and worked to promote better understanding of this right as an internationally recognized right. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Education/SREducation/Pages/SREducationIndex.aspx

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