Hemispherical Discussion about the Challenges of Education in the Americas

15 April 2015, Panama City, Panama - The Decentralized Cooperation Programme of UNITAR joined the discussion with over 500 presidents of the most prestigious universities from the 35 countries in the Americas to present public policies on education in the region, in order to reach educational equity.

The inaugural Forum of Rectors of the Americas took place in Panama City in the framework of the Seventh Summit of the Americas hosted by His Excellency Juan Carlos Varela, President of Panama, on 10 and 11  April 2015. The Forum’s objective was to serve as tool to analyze the challenges in education in the region and to bring forward recommendations to the Heads of State and Government at the Summit.

The theme of the Forum was “Prosperity with Equity: The Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas”, providing a venue to discuss key issues such as academic mobility, the role of innovation and technology in enhancing research skills and education in the region; and the importance of research on entrepreneurship and sustainable economic development.

United States Secretary of State John Kerry Addressed Central and Latin American University Presidents at the Forum, highlighting the “importance of working together across sectors to bridge the gap between the skills that schools teach and the expertise that the job market demands. Many of the region’s young people graduate with degrees that leave them ill-suited for available positions.” Also, he stressed that there is need for finding better ways to incorporate new curriculum methods and technology into the learning process.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in an address in Panama to the seventh Summit of the Americas, commended the hemisphere's commitment to peace, democracy, human rights and sustainable development, while urging leaders to continue to pursue a future of prosperity with equality, where no one is left behind.

Photo: Inaugural Forum of Rectors of the Americas