As a member of the Technical Advisory Group of the UN Secretary General’s 5-year Global Education First Initiative, which aims to ensure quality, relevant and transformative education for all children across the world, Dubai Cares joined international philanthropists and partners for a series of high-level meetings held under the auspices of the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown from April 9th to 11th in Washington D.C. and New York. The meetings brought together representatives of UN aid agencies, leaders of foundations, representatives of civil society organizations, academic institutions as well as delegates from member states of the UN. It served as a platform to discuss the progression of the UN Millennium Development Goal number 2 of achieving universal primary education, and focused on challenges in the education sector, in light of the fast approaching 2015 target date. Dubai Cares contributed to conversations surrounding the role of education in the achievement of the United Nations’ Development Agenda, which focuses on helping millions around the world emerge from poverty.
The Dubai Cares delegation was led by Chief Executive Officer Tariq Al Gurg, who spoke on the importance of such meetings to developmental efforts worldwide saying: “The role of education in providing millions with better prospects for advancement is evident with nations and institutions around the world ramping up efforts to enhance their educational infrastructure in order to create more developmental opportunities. By bringing together the best minds in strategy, finance, design and execution in the field of education, the meetings served as a forum to discuss ways of scaling up ongoing efforts to achieve Millennium Development Goal number 2, namely universal primary education, and map out the path forward to sustain the momentum created.”
Commenting on Dubai Cares role in shaping the global education development agenda, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown said: "Dubai Cares has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in helping to get every child into school and learning. They are a central part of the 500-Day Countdown until the end of 2015 as we aim to reach zero exclusion from education."
Conducted on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington D.C., the Countdown to 2015 Summit organized by A World At School, the global organization working towards ensuring universal access to education, and the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, brought together leading grassroots campaigners, policy and communications experts, youth activists and global policy leaders for a set of dynamic plenaries, campaign working sessions and strategic briefings. The topics covered tapped into Dubai Cares’ core focus areas including girls’ education and quality of learning, and emphasized coordinated and strategic actions to break down the key obstacles to learning for the most marginalized sections of the global community.
The Dubai Cares delegation also attended the “Learning for All Symposium” held at the World Bank. The event, which was followed by a session with the finance minister of Afghanistan to discuss education challenges, highlighted a strong connection between educational investment and development and focused on education financing. The “Learning for All Symposium” discussions stressed increasing philanthropic investments in education, as a key factor towards the achievement of broader goals in health, poverty alleviation and gender equality.
Dubai Cares was also invited by Sarah Brown, Executive Chair, Global Business Coalition for Education and co-founder of A World at School, to discuss its methodology at a forum entitled Universal Education: The Next Big Win for Philanthropy. During the meeting, Dubai Cares was acknowledged for achieving significant impact in expanding access to quality primary education in order to secure better learning outcomes, whilst supporting movements towards health, hygiene and gender equality - in schools.
In addition to those meetings, the delegation attended a special event by the Economic Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations on “the role of partnerships and their contribution to the post-2015 development agenda” at the UN headquarters in New York.
Emphasizing Dubai Cares’ role in promoting education globally, Al Gurg added: “Today, 57 million children are out of school and another 250 million children are attending school and not learning. As part of our mandate and in our role as a member of the Technical Advisory Group of the UN Secretary General’s 5 year Global Education First Initiative, we have focused on overcoming key systemic challenges in the educational sector – from school health and nutrition to teacher training – that are integral to promoting universal access to education and quality learning in the developing world.”
“We will continue to ensure that children not only have access to school by increasing enrollment globally, but also go to school, stay in school and learn by receiving quality education. In addition, as a UAE-based philanthropic organization, we are well-placed to reach governments across Africa, Asia and Europe and ensure that education remains a key pillar of the national development agenda,” Al Gurg concluded.
Dubai Cares has established itself as a strong supporter of the UN Secretary General’s 5-year Global Education First Initiative through a series of key program launches in 2013, including a Home Grown School Feeding program in Ethiopia, an Early Childhood Education program in Bosnia and most recently a Holistic Quality Learning Program in Pakistan.