Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Announces an Initiative to Support UNESCO’s Core Education Programmes
UNESCO’s Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education, Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser of Qatar has pledged to increase her support to UNESCO’s core education activities as a direct response to the financial difficulties faced by the Organization.
Her Highness is particularly concerned that the decision of some Member States to withhold contributions will have serious and adverse consequences on UNESCO’s core programs and mark setbacks for sustainable development and peace, at a time when international cooperation is critical for achieving quality universal education.
She has called upon all partners to join her in this initiative given the challenges ahead, four years short of the 2015 target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and following the commitment made by the Heads of States at the MDG Summit in New York in 2010. Her Highness has stated that the financial difficulties faced by the Organization stands to affect all its core programs.
“This marks a very strong sign of Her Highness’ deep commitment to education for all, which is the foundation for building more peaceful and sustainable societies. UNESCO will put every effort into ensuring that this support translates into opening educational opportunities for the most marginalized, improving the quality of education systems in least developed countries, and forging new partnerships,” said UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova.
This emergency initiative will support the programme and budget adopted by the 36th General Conference, in particular the reinforcement of leadership for Education for All, through advocacy, partnership and monitoring, with a special emphasis on girls and women. Concerted attention will be placed on the least developed countries, which are furthest away from reaching the Education for All goals.
The modalities for this important initiative will be worked out in the next few weeks with all the speed and urgency required to minimize the possible negative impact to UNESCO core programme adopted by the 36th General Conference of Member States.
Her Highness, who is also the UN Secretary-General’s special advocate for MDG 2 on primary education, has provided long time support to UNESCO’s activities, notably for literacy, curriculum development, teacher education and rehabilitation of higher education in Iraq, emergency support to education in Gaza, and support to the publication of the Education under Attack series.
Director-General Irina Bokova expressed her gratitude to Her Highness for her positive and timely support to UNESCO.