23 September 2005

Vernor Muñoz, the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on the right to education, will visit Botswana at the invitation of the Government from 26 September to 4 October 2005.

During this visit, the Special Rapporteur will consider how Botswana endeavours to implement the right to education, the measures taken for its successful realization and the obstacles encountered, both at the national and international levels. He will focus on issues related to access to education, in particular for girls, marginalized groups -- including indigenous peoples -- and rural communities. He will address particular education challenges in Botswana, such as the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic; inter-culturalism; and the need to increase the proportion of all students who successfully acquire basic education. He will also consider the implementation of the national action plan for education which aims at realizing the goals of the Dakar Framework for Action, Education for All, as well as the realization of the Millenium Development Goals on universal primary education.

The Special Rapporteur will meet with Government officials and with representatives of the United Nations system during the course of the mission. He also intends to hold meetings with representatives of civil society, including media and academics.

The Special Rapporteur will present a report on his mission to the Commission on Human Rights at its sixty-second session next spring.

The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the Commission to help States, and others, promote and protect the right to education.

For further information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur and copies of available reports, please consult the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights ( http://www.unhchr.ch/)

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For use of the information media; not an official record