Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones (FP)????

The Government of Barbados recognises the inescapable link between education and poverty reduction and has realised that education is the primary vehicle by which economically and socially marginalised youth and adults can break the bonds of poverty.

This observation was made recently by Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, while speaking at the 35th Session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Paris, France.

"For this reason, Barbados endorses the designation of Technical and Vocational Education and Training as a priority area over the next biennium," he added, as he threw his support behind UNESCO’s draft Programme and Budget for 2010 to 2011.

Touching on other areas which fall within the scope of UNESCO, Minister Jones spoke to cultural issues, noting that this country welcomed the continued focus on the development of cultural industries and the protection and preservation of cultural heritage.??

"In respect of the preservation and protection of our cultural heritage, I am delighted to say that Barbados is in the process of developing its first nomination, Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, for inscription on the World Heritage List," he pointed out.

With regard to sciences, the Minister lauded the international community for its strategies in recent years, which accelerated development for the world’s poorest countries. "Barbados acknowledges the excellent response by UNESCO to those issues which challenge the very survival of small islands, and commends the Inter-governmental Oceanographic Commission – for the sound body of marine and coastal scientific knowledge, which developing countries can utilise as decision support tools.

"Barbados has demonstrated its continued commitment to addressing such issues with the establishment of the Caribbean Tsunami Information Centre and welcomes the proposed enhancement of the Plan of Action on climate change, through the development of a framework of ethical principles," Minister Jones stated.??

The conference was also attended by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Community Development and Culture, the Barbados National Commission for UNESCO, the National Heritage Department and the Coastal Zone Management Unit.

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