» Director-General addresses the 5th World Government Summit in Dubai
13.02.2017 - ODG

Director-General addresses the 5th World Government Summit in Dubai

On 13 February, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, gave a keynote address at the 5th World Government Summit (WGS) held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 12 to 14 February, where she underscored the importance of inclusive, quality education and new forms of international cooperation to drive progress across the Sustainable Development Goals.

The event took place in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rachid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and President Jim Yong Kim of the World Bank, H.E. Mohammad Abdulla AlGergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future of the UAE and Chairman of the World Government Summit Organization and H.E. Ohood Bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness of the UAE and Vice Chair of the World Government Summit Organization.

“We know too well that political arrangements are not enough to secure the sincere and lasting support of the peoples – and to foster effective change,” said the Director-General highlighting the importance of multilateralism and international cooperation. 

“I believe we need a new focus on empowerment and capacities, building resilient societies, able to adapt to the unexpected, plan ahead and recover from crisis,” said Irina Bokova calling for more investment in quality education, in skills and knowledge.

“This is why the 2030 Agenda is such a shift,” declared the Director-General. “Because it is founded on education, on skills, to empower every man and women, especially girls.”

The Director-General noted the rise in demand for new forms of global action, joining States, civil society, the private sector, academia, the scientific community and global public opinion. In this context, she commended the political commitment of the United Arab Emirates as global leaders in this regard, putting strategic emphasis on the development of knowledge, innovation and science.

“This is the key for sustainable development,” she declared. “This is the future of international cooperation.”

On 12 February, the Director-General launched the Arabic version of the 2016 Global Education Monitoring Report “Education for people and planet: Creating sustainable futures for all”, where she reaffirmed urgent need to prioritize and invest in education. The event took place in the presence of H.E. Mr Hussein bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Ministry of Education, United Arab Emirates and Mr Aaron Benavot, Director, Global Education Monitoring Report.

Also on the margins of the World Government Summit, the Director-General took part in a debate with the Global Journalist Corps, a group of high-level journalists from around the world. They discussed the Sustainable Development Goals and how culture and education at the centre of addressing some of the world’s most pressing concerns.

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