IIEP-UNESCO celebrates its first 25 years of direct presence in Latin America and the Caribbean

08 August 2023


©IIEP-UNESCO/Santiago Mele

At an event held at the Ministry of Education of Argentina, attended by national and international officials and specialists, the IIEP-UNESCO Office for Latin America and the Caribbean celebrated its 25th anniversary.

In 2023, the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) is celebrating a double jubilee: its office in Buenos Aires celebrates its 25th anniversary, while the Institute itself celebrates 60 years since its creation at the global level.

Today, the IIEP-UNESCO Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is responsible for fulfilling the Institute's mandate in the 36 UNESCO Member States in the region. Its work focuses on the current issues and needs of the education sector, and its role is to support governments in the region in achieving their education goals in the context of the Education 2030 Agenda. In this context, the celebration of its 25th anniversary aimed to open new dialogues and strengthen initiatives to achieve fairer societies through education.

Since its foundation, IIEP has trained education professionals with a vision of education as a right, and of educational planning and management as fundamental to guaranteeing that right.”
Martín Benavides, Director of IIEP-UNESCO

The event took place in the Leopoldo Marechal hall at the Ministry of Education of Argentina and was well attended, including by ambassadors and representatives of the embassies of Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, El Salvador, France, Panama, Paraguay and Peru; Ministers of Education of the Argentinean provinces; rectors of Argentinean universities; authorities of United Nations agencies and funds; representatives of international organisations; representatives of civil society organisations; civil servants from different national and sub-national ministries of the region; and consultants, alongside and historical and current IIEP teams.

We live in a continent that is unequal: we can either assume that we are the object of inequality or that we are the subjects of transformation".
Jaime Perczyk, Minister of Education of the Republic of Argentina

The meeting opened with welcoming remarks by Jaime Perczyk, Minister of Education of the Republic of Argentina; Claudio Tomasi, Resident Representative a.i. of the United Nations System in Argentina and Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Argentina; Ernesto Fernández Polcuch, Director of the UNESCO Office in Montevideo and UNESCO Representative in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay; Martín Benavides, Director of IIEP-UNESCO; and Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO.

Member States, including most countries in the region, agreed to work together to transform education, because education is the key to achieving sustainable development. The issue today is no longer the global north assisting the global south, but that in 2023, we need to build genuine cooperation between the different regions of the world and for each of region to do so on their own terms".
Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO

Afterwards, the main focus of the meeting was based on three conceptual topics, led by international UNESCO officials, former ministers of education of the region and rectors of national universities. The first of these, moderated by Alejandra Cardini, Coordinator of the Knowledge Management and Mobilization function of the IIEP LAC Office, addressed the fundamentals of educational transformation with a view to the future. Participants in this block included Sobhi Tawil, Director of UNESCO's Future of Learning and Innovation Team; Manos Antoninis, Director of UNESCO's Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report; Borhene Chakroun, Director of UNESCO's Division of Lifelong Learning Policies and Systems; and Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS).

The second panel was moderated by Pablo Cevallos Estarellas, Head of the IIEP-UNESCO LAC Office. It reflected on the lessons learned in recent years for educational planning in the region, with the participation of Gloria Vidal, former Minister of Education of Ecuador, and Otto Granados, former Secretary of Public Education of Mexico.

Educational planning is a process that never happens in a vacuum. For policy to be designed and effective in the territory, it is essential to think about and implement it in a contextualized way".
Pablo Cevallos Estarellas, Head of the IIEP-UNESCO LAC Office

The third panel, moderated by Vannina Trentin, Deputy Training Coordinator of the IIEP-UNESCO LAC Office, explored the contribution of academia to the planning and management of basic education. Carlos Greco, Rector of the National University of San Martín, and Sandra Torlucci, Rector of the National University of the Arts, participated in this discussion.