Montserrat’s Minister of Education Delmaude Ryan recently committed the island to the Cochabamba Agreements: Regional Solidarity for Achieving SDG4-E2030 in Latin America and the Caribbeanwhich was approved at the II Regional Meeting of Ministers of Education of Latin America and the Caribbean, “Transforming Education: A Joint Response from Latin America and the Caribbean for Achieving SDG4-E2030.”
Among other things, the document establishes the adoption of the Regional Roadmap for the Implementation of SDG4-E2030 in Latin America and the Caribbean, an instrument that will support the countries’ efforts to achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 4, which refers to lifelong quality, inclusive, equitable education.
A Commitment to Educational Integration
The Cochabamba Agreements were endorsed by the representatives of the countries that attended the regional meeting in Bolivia. They are based on the Buenos Aires Declaration (2017), the first milestone in the regionalization of SDG4-E2030 that allowed the countries to contextualize the global decisions adopted in the Incheon Declaration emanating from the World Education Forum in May 2015 from this continent. The Buenos Aires Declaration provided a shared vision of the 2030 Education Agenda from Latin America and the Caribbean and was aimed at generating strategies and programs that seek to achieve these targets at the national and regional levels for 2017-2030.
The countries agreed in Bolivia to create a mechanism for implementing the Roadmap. The executive secretariat will be the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago). This mechanism consists of a Regional Steering Committee with two representatives from South America, two from Central America and Mexico, and three from the Caribbean, all of whom will be elected by the member states. UNESCO and UNICEF will serve as the permanent coordinating agencies of the committee and will receive support from regional inter-governmental organizations and two civil society organizations.
The Regional Steering Committee shall establish four working groups that will drive specific actions in review, monitoring and reporting; policy and strategies; advocacy and communication; and finance and governance. The groups may seek the support of technical experts whenever necessary.
In the agreements, the authorities committed to strengthen intersectoral collaboration and to explore opportunities for the participation of young people and adults in regional coordination mechanisms. They also agreed to meet every two or three years and to entrust OREALC/UNESCO Santiago with organizing regional meetings in coordination with the Regional Steering Committee and the hosting country.