A Dubai Cares delegation led by Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer joined representatives of UN aid agencies, heads of states, ministers, NGOs, policy experts, leaders of foundations, representatives of civil society organizations, academic institutions, delegates from member states of the UN and the business community in New York this week to discuss the next steps towards achieving universal primary education for children around the world. In a series of high-level meetings convened along the sidelines of the 69th United Nations General Assembly, the global humanitarian development agencies focused on re-energizing the movement towards eliminating the largest barriers towards education with a further injection of funds, expertise as well as global awareness campaigns.
The Dubai Cares delegation participated in a forum co-chaired by UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim to discuss the Global Education First Initiative (GEFI). The forum seeks to address fundamental issues in the provision of quality, relevant and transformative education for everyone by 2015 and beyond. In support of the initiative, Dubai Cares has consistently aligned its programs in vulnerable communities by ensuring quality primary education, creating safe learning environments, increasing resources, facilitating support for parents and training for teachers.
Alongside these events, Her Excellency Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and Chairperson of Dubai Cares participated in the “Putting Education to Work” plenary session of the Clinton Global Initiative, which convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges, addressing the importance of primary education and sharing lessons learnt in creating partnerships in education that have sustainable and meaningful impact.
Commenting on the significance of the meetings he attended, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares said: “There is an overwhelming need for collective action towards enforcing primary schooling opportunities for every child. These meetings are instrumental in bringing together the best minds from around the world to exchange opinions and ideas, share best practices, highlight challenges and formulate solutions. We are all working towards achieving Millennium Development Goal 2 (MDG 2), i.e. ensure that by 2015 every child will be able to complete a full course of primary education. Through these meetings and interactions, we are not only aligning our programs with the Global Education First Initiative and MDG strategy, but also leading by example and showcasing the UAE’s expertise in the area of humanitarian development.”
Dubai Cares delegation also attended High Level Inter Ministerial Meetings with the President of Cote D’Ivoire and the President of Tanzania, held in support of the UN Secretary-General’s GEFI.
In addition, the delegation participated in A World at School September Forum with the Global Business Coalition for Education hosted by Sarah Brown and The Countdown is On: All in for 2015 meeting to discuss the deadline for MDG 2. A World at School has been at the forefront of the 500-day countdown to meeting the MDG 2 goal, thus ensuring equal opportunity for every child of the current and future generations. The event shed light on the 58 million children that are still out of school as well as the lag in gender equality when it comes to access to education.
“Gender equality is one of the pillars of all Dubai Cares programs as we believe that girls have the power not just to affect their families but their communities at large. Educating the girl child can curb population inflation, cut down on incidences of HIV whilst ensuring a progressive family and community outlook towards the world. Hence, the notion that universal education for girls will only be achieved by 2086, at the current rate, is a cause of serious concern that needs to be addressed immediately,” Al Gurg added.
With a view towards charting the post-2015 developmental agenda, the Dubai Cares delegation also participated in a forum titled Strengthening Philanthropy’s Engagement with the Post 2015 Development Agenda. The forum highlighted avenues for humanitarian organizations, such as Dubai Cares, in formulating global development goals, advocating value of education amongst governments whilst keeping the developmental agenda on track.
“We are living in an era of unprecedented technological advancements, scalable and replicable developmental models, giving us the ammunition to completely annihilate the barriers to universal education. As a global community, we need to mobilize our resources towards resolving the education crisis, thus offering the 58 million children who still have no access to education, the opportunity to build a prosperous future. With fewer than 500-days to the December 31st 2015 deadline, we need to pour more effort, capital and support into the achievement of these goals. At this pivotal time and as we move on to 2015 and beyond, Dubai Cares calls on the international community to maintain education as an integral part of the global development agenda for years to come.”
The meetings held on the sidelines of the 69th United Nations General Assembly also included talks on education and health; early childhood development as well as the impact of business coalitions on humanitarian aid and development. These platforms 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.