UNESCO and ARNEC establish official partnership
Director-General Irina Bokova has decided to establish an official partnership between UNESCO and the Asia-Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC). She will inform the UNESCO Executive Board of her decision at its forthcoming 195th session in October 2014.
The agreement, made officially on 10 September 2014, formalizes a longstanding relationship between UNESCO and ARNEC, a broad-reaching network of professionals focused on early childhood.
In her letter to ARNEC formally accepting the partnership request, Ms. Bokova underscored her commitment to early childhood care and education (ECCE), which both organizations share.
“Cooperation between UNESCO and ARNEC has a solid foundation based on many areas of common interest and synergies, particularly in the areas of education and early childhood,” Ms. Bokova wrote. “I am convinced that this step will enhance the impact of our joint activities. I invite you to pursue and reinforce your collaboration, namely with the UNESCO Office in Bangkok.”
Established in 2008, ARNEC is a professional network aimed at building strong partnerships across sectors and different disciplines, organisations, agencies and institutions in the Asia-Pacific region to advance the agenda on and investment in early childhood. It currently has 1,700 individual members from 58 countries and several institutional partners that span different disciplines and sectors related to ECCE.
UNESCO Bangkok has been supporting ARNEC’s foundation and institutional growth, and has contributed to raising its visibility and outreach by taking part in its core activities, carrying out joint activities and involving ARNEC in high-level international education conferences.
For UNESCO Bangkok, this official partnership not only recognizes the importance of this valued relationship, but also brings with it the opportunity to amplify the office’s advocacy and work in the field of ECCE through ARNEC’s expansive network.
UNESCO and ARNEC are currently working on two projects funded by the Government of Japan: an initiative to promote pre-primary teacher development in Southeast Asia and another focusing on innovations for improving the equity and quality of ECCE. Moreover, UNESCO and ARNEC, together with UNCIEF and the Government of Malaysia will organize the second regional ministerial ECCE policy forum in September 2015.