A Dubai Cares delegation attended a series of high-level meetings in New York, during the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly week. The Dubai Cares delegation, led by Chief Executive Officer Tariq Al Gurg, attended a series of “Learning for All” Ministerial Country Meetings held in support of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) and in collaboration between the Global Partnership for Education and the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown.
The meetings focused on specific challenges and concrete steps to accelerate progress toward ensuring that all children can go to school and learn. They also focused on building consensus around urgent actions needed to ensure access to quality education for as many children as possible by 2015, with a specific focus on reaching marginalized groups in fragile contexts. Moreover, they helped identify a timeline and process to monitor implementation of committed actions and report on progress.
During the week-long Assembly, Dubai Cares signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), a multi-stakeholder partnership of developing and donor countries, multilateral agencies, civil society organizations and the private sector and private foundations supporting the education sector in developing countries. The MOU will serve as a framework to facilitate cooperation and collaboration to ensure adequate use of existing resources.
Attending the signing ceremony, Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Co-operation highlighted the increasing role the UAE is playing on a global scale to bring about positive change in areas such as social and economic prosperity: “The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Dubai Cares and the Global Partnership for Education is a significant milestone in terms of the role that UAE organizations such as Dubai Cares can play in facilitating solutions to global issues. This agreement marks a further step on the UAE’s journey to be a force for good on a global scale.”
The Dubai Cares delegation also participated in high-level discussions on the ‘Global Education First Initiative’, an initiative by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, to address fundamental issues in the provision of quality, relevant and transformative education for everyone post-2015. UN Secretary-General selected Dubai Cares to be a member in the Technical Advisory Group of the initiative at its launch during the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2012. This year’s discussion highlighted the progress made over the past year and reinforced the actions needed to protect the education of children and youth, especially those living in humanitarian emergencies and conflict.
Speaking about the event, Tariq Al Gurg said: “The Global Education First Initiative gave the movement towards quality education for all a strong impetus and global accountability. It has brought together stakeholders from different part of the world under the auspices of the UN, and has allowed us to direct our resources efficiently and ensure that quality education remains a priority for governments and aid organizations. Through our collaborative effort, we have been able to achieve significant change in the past 12 months since our meeting whilst being able to identify areas of focus, development and further change.”
Addressing the link between education and economic development, Al Gurg added, “Today, social and economic prosperity is linked to one’s level of education and skill set. We are part of a knowledge-based global economy, where quality education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. Therefore, the lack of access to schools and quality primary education is an issue that needs to be addressed urgently as it deprives so many of the opportunities of higher education as well as social and personal development, thus limiting community and national growth.”
The Dubai Cares delegation also attended the Learning Metrics Task Force (LMTF) Reception and the MDG (Millennium Development Goals) Innovation Forum at the ECOSOC Chamber in the United Nations Headquarters, where leaders and pioneers from the public and private sector discussed innovations to accelerate progress on the Millennium Development Goals.
Participation in meetings held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly week are key to Dubai Cares as it offers the organization a platform to exchange opinions and hold discussions with bilateral, international and regional organizations on global economic and social development.