Qatar’s Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser al Missned delivers rousing plea for education before UNESCO’s General Conference
Qatar’s Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al Missned - Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education – on Wednesday delivered a rousing plea at UNESCO for the right of children everywhere to benefit from quality basic education
In an address to the 35th session of UNESCO’s General Conference, the Organization’s highest governing body, the Sheikha declared that “depriving children of the right to education is depriving them of the right to live.”
Speaking of the 75 million children worldwide who do not enjoy the right to education and of the 150 million, most of them girls, who will not be able to complete their primary education, the Sheikha asked: “Aren’t these people suffering from the injustice exercised by the international community, from discrimination and from the violation of the sacred right to education?”
“If we are really convinced that education is our way forward towards building a world […], of democracy, liberty, equality and justice,” said the Shekha, “it requires us first to rearrange our priorities, secondly to create a new culture based on a solid political will with the goal of reconciling heritage and progress, religious, social and political values, and thirdly working towards changing mentalities by making them in harmony with the requirements of society.”
“We should all question our ethical, legal and human credibility regarding the right to education if, whenever the sanctity of the educational system is violated by any party wilfully and with premeditation, we fall to take the required, firm and appropriate action,” warned the Sheikha.
The Sheikha went on to express indignation at the terror children “are deliberately subject to” in war and recalled her initiative, Education Above All, which “aims to monitor, investigate and document violations committed against education in areas of crisis, conflict and war and to find appropriate alternatives.”
During her visit, the Sheikha held talks with the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, and reiterated her support for the Organization’s post conflict educational programmes, particularly in Gaza and Iraq.
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