01.03.2011 - ODG

Partnering with the Philanthropic Community to Promote Education for All

© UNESCO/Cynthia Guttman - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova speaking at the special event on Partnering with the Philanthropic Community, with Michaelle Jean, UNESCO Special Envoy for Haiti, and Lazarous Kapambwe, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), on 28 February 2011 at UN Headquarters

The private sector’s innovation and creativity are assets for moving the Education for All agenda forward, said UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova during a special session on partnering with the philanthropic community organized by the United Department of Economic and Social Affairs in collaboration with UN partners and the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, on 28 February 2011 in New York.

Introducing the event, the President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Mr Lazarous Kapambwe, stated that there are “few tools as powerful as education to enable progress on all the Millennium Development Goals.”

Noting that philanthropy means the “love of humanity,” Ms Bokova told the audience gathered in the General Assembly Hall “that there can be no business as usual in current circumstances.” She drew attention to the need for practical partnerships, driven by concrete results on the ground and stronger engagement at the global level. 

Ms Michaelle Jean, UNESCO’s Special Envoy for Haiti and former Governor-General of Canada, underscored the importance of education for Haiti’s refoundation on solid ground. She affirmed that “the time has come to move from the logic of aid dependency to a new logic of investment and partnership.” 

“Quality education for all is the common goal and it is an emergency,” she said. “For Haitian youth, it is a life and death issue. Without access to quality training, competent teachers, work opportunities and decent infrastructures, young people who comprise the majority of the population become vulnerable to criminal organizations and other predators who know how to feed off feelings of anger and despair.”

Noting that there is a national pact in place to build a solid education system in Haiti, she expressed hope that a strong network of partners would rally around viable solutions to meet the needs of communities and their aspiration to an education.

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