Dubai: Dubai Cares has become the only organisation in the Middle East to be selected by the United Nations as its partner in a new global educational campaign.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon launched the campaign, titled ‘Education First’, on Wednesday alongside the 67th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Dubai’s premier charity organisation Dubai Cares, which works to provide quality education to impoverished children around the world, will be one of the selected few organisations from across the world to join the global initiative that will ensure quality, relevant and transformative education for everyone.
The five-year education initiative will rally a broad spectrum of actors to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the target date of 2015 and lay the groundwork for a bold vision for education post-2015.
The launch was attended by decision and policy-makers and representatives of UN agencies, NGOs, private foundations and member states.
Dubai Cares, which was founded in 2007 by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is the only organisation from the Middle East selected to be part of the UN Secretary General’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and Subgroup on Advocacy and Communications for the five-year initiative.
Speaking from New York following the announcement, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares said that the selection is a testament to the success of Dubai Cares approach and an apt recognition of what it has done over the last five years.
“Dubai Cares’ selection by the United Nations to join this important global initiative is a significant milestone that would not have been achieved without the guidance of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad — a firm believer in education as the most effective tool to break the cycle of poverty,” said Al Gurg.
He added: “It is with this belief that His Highness established Dubai Cares to free developing countries from poverty by providing their children with access to quality primary education.”
He thanked the UAE community for its tremendous support throughout the years, as well as all Dubai Cares’ global partners, including UN aid agencies, NGOs and private foundations, who helped the organisation to make a difference in the lives of seven million children in 28 developing countries so far.
The basic priorities of “Education First” are to expand access to education, improve quality of learning, and foster global citizenship. The initiative will spur a global movement to put quality, relevant and transformative education at the centre of the social, political and development debates and generate additional and sufficient funding for education through sustained global advocacy efforts.
As a key advisor to the secretary General, Dubai Cares role will be to advocate for education to become a primary focus on the agendas of both local and national governments as well as development and humanitarian organisations worldwide.
The eight MDGs were set in 2000, forming a blueprint to meet the needs of the world’s poorest. At the end of the 1990s, there were 106 million children of primary school age not enrolled.
Today, that number stands at 61 million as the result of several national and international initiatives and interventions.
However, despite this progress, the international community faces the prospect of having more children out of school in 2015 than today.