Flash Info N1 081-2007
Office of the Spokeswoman
La Porte-parole
Director-General of UNESCO receives Professor Jan de Groof, chargé
de mission to the Assistant Director-General for Education

SpecEnv01.jpgOn 12 June 2007, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, received at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, Professor Jan de Groof, recently named chargé de mission to the Assistant Director-General for Education for the right to education. Also present on this occasion were His Excellency Mr Philippe Kridelka, Ambassador of Belgium to UNESCO, and Mr Josef Aelvoet, Delegate of the Flemish Government to France. Mr de Groof congratulated the Director -General on his leadership and commitment on the fulfilment of the right to education. Outlining his vision for the role of chargé de mission. Mr de Groof said he hoped to raise the visibility of UNESCO's work in this area, and also to help develop benchmarks and indicators to help monitor how governments were implementing the right to education. He also highlighted the importance of building partnerships with civil society, the private sector and the academic community.

The Director-General expressed his great pleasure at the prospect of collaborating with Mr de Groof in this field. He explained that he saw UNESCO's role as essentially two-fold: to promote the right to education globally: and to provide practical support to countries, especially developing countries, in their efforts to implement the right to education. Mr Matsuura referred in this latter regard to successful projects that UNESCO has led in Kenya. Indonesia and other countries. Following his meeting with the Director-General. Mr de Groof met with senior education staff to discuss the precise terms of his mandate, and how he could best help promote UNESCO's work on the right to education Founder-President of the European Association for Education Law and Policy (ELA) and of the Interuniversity Centre for Education Law. Mr Jan de Groof is currently professor at the College of Europe (Bruges. Belgium) and the University of Tilburg (the Netherlands).

UNESCO Chargé de Mission


Terms of Reference for the Special Envoy to UNESCO for the Right to Education - mission entrusted to Prof. dr. Jan De Groof

As part of the follow-up to the first World Conference on the Right to and the Right in Education, organised in cooperation with UNESCO (Amsterdam, 2004) and within the overall framework of on-going collaboration between UNESCO and the European Association for Education Law and Policy (ELA), Prof. dr. Jan De Groof is entrusted with the position of the Special Envoy to UNESCO for the Right to Education.

In his capacity as Special Envoy, he will be required to undertake the following tasks :

a. To promote UNESCO’s work in the field of the right to education as a fundamental human right and to give greater visibility to it, in cooperation with UNESCO;
b. In specific coordination with UNESCO, to undertake initiatives to raise awareness of and to promote UNESCO’s normative action in the field of the right to education and rights in education;
c. To interact with education law experts, academia, professional bodies and members of civic society organisations and promote UNESCO’s efforts.

The Special Envoy to UNESCO may rely on the UNESCO services and instruments. He reports on a regular basis and directly to the ADG/ED.

The Special Envoy to UNESCO may be invited to international meetings dealing directly or indirectly to the right to education and rights in education.

The Special Envoy will serve for two years, renewable, from the date of signature of a letter of designation by both the Director-General and the Special Envoy.

The Special Envoy is not a staff member and as such no remuneration, nor reimbursement of financial expenditures except with the prior agreement with UNESCO, will be covered by UNESCO. He/she is expected to respect the impartiality and independence of the United Nations and to refrain from any conduct that would adversely reflect on the United Nations; refrain from any activity incompatible with the purposes and principles of the United Nations; exercise good judgement and discretion in all matters relating to the performance of functions associated with this title. The implementation of activities and missions by the Special Envoy will be jointly prepared by the Special Envoy and ADG/ED of UNESCO or his representative and he will report to UNESCO on accomplished tasks.

The designation of Special Envoy shall be terminated if, in the view of the Director-General, the person is unable or unwilling to carry out the role envisaged in the terms of reference attached to the letter of designation, if the person engages in any activity incompatible with the status of Special Envoy or with the purposes and principles of the United Nations, or if the termination is in the interest of the United Nations.