CMEC Playing a Key Role at the International Conference on Education (ICE) in Switzerland


Toronto, November 20, 2008 -- The Chair of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) and Minister of Education for New Brunswick, the Honourable Kelly Lamrock, is pleased to be heading the Canadian delegation to the 48th session of the ICE, which will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from November 25 to 28, 2008. The Canadian delegation will include officials from New Brunswick, Quebec, the CMEC Secretariat, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the First Nations Education Council, and the federal government.

The ICE is the largest gathering of ministers of education in the world, providing the over 190 UNESCO member states with a forum for dialogue on important education-related issues. It is organized by the International Bureau of Education (IBE), a UNESCO institute with headquarters in Geneva, specializing in assisting UNESCO member states in achieving quality education for all through innovative curriculum development and implementation.

It was CMEC's suggested topic of inclusive education that was chosen as the theme for the 48th ICE -- Inclusive Education: the Way of the Future. Ministers will discuss how governments can develop and implement inclusive policies, draw attention to education systems that offer opportunities for lifelong learning, and emphasize the role of teachers in meeting learners' diverse expectations and needs.

"In Canada, we recognize that education is the cornerstone of society. Education in Canada is the responsibility of provinces and territories, and all thirteen jurisdictions have a commitment to inclusive education," said Minister Lamrock.

CMEC will also be enriching the debate by its contribution to the workshop on "Public policies and the role of governments in the development and the implementation of policies on inclusive education." CMEC commissioned the concept paper that will be used as a starting point for the discussions. In addition, Minister Lamrock has been asked to moderate the closing panel on inclusive education - "From Vision to Practice," in recognition of CMEC's contribution to the preparation of the conference.

"I am pleased that CMEC is playing such an important role in the discussions at ICE with member states from around the world. I am convinced they will help focus attention on the importance of quality education for everyone," added Minister Lamrock.

CMEC is an intergovernmental body composed of the ministers responsible for elementary-secondary and advanced education from the provinces and territories. Through CMEC, ministers share information and undertake projects in areas of mutual interest and concern.

- 30 -

Tamara Davis
Coordinator, Communications
Tel.: (416) 962-8100, ext. 241
Web site: