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14 JUN 2008

Task force on building human capital in South Eastern Europe launched

LJUBLJANA/SARAJEVO – A regional Task Force on Fostering and Building Human Capital in South Eastern Europe was launched in Ljubljana yesterday, under the auspices of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).

The aim of the Task Force is to promote coherency and coordination between education, higher education, research and science in South Eastern Europe (SEE) by creating a platform for dialogue and cooperation of actors involved in these sectors. The subsequent goal is to maximize the benefits of investment in human capital development through its contribution to sustainable economic and social development of the region.

"This is an important step which will enable us to continue fostering regional cooperation and ownership in the context of an area high on the RCC priority agenda", said RCC Deputy Secretary General, Jelica Minic, during the Task Force inauguration.

"Our mission will be to incite and assist the countries of South Eastern Europe to carry out the necessary reforms in the field of education, science and research and attain the EU standards, in order to provide the citizens with an opportunity to contribute on equal footing to the development of their countries."

The Task Force is mandated to closely cooperate with the RCC and regularly formulate recommendations to the RCC Board. The RCC will assist the Task Force and facilitate its work in accordance with the RCC Statute.

The founding members of the Task Force are members of the RCC Board, the RCC Secretary General, the signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding between the SEE Ministers responsible for Education, Science and Research, signed in Istanbul, the Task Force Education and Youth, the Members of the SEE Education Reform Initiative (ERI SEE) and the Steering Platform on Research for the Western Balkans.

The first chair of the Task Force is Romania, with Austria and Croatia serving as co-chairs. The Task Force Fostering and Building Human Capital is the successor of the Task Force Education and Youth.

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