Bill Clinton with Sunny Varkey. 'I do believe education is the most significant issue in the world today' Varkey said. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Dubai: Former US President Bill Clinton has announced, while visiting the GEMS World Academy, that GEMS Education will become a strategic partner of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).

GEMS Education, based in Dubai, is the first Kindergarten to Grade 12 education operator in the world to become a partner of the CGI.

Clinton said, "In my travels around the world, I've seen that while intelligence and ability are equally distributed, access to a quality education is not. Members of our Clinton Global Initiative have made hundreds of commitments that have opened the doors to education for more than eight million young people around the world. The support of Mr [Sunny] Varkey [founder and chairman of GEMS Education] and GEMS Education will help us do even more to address this and other pressing issues."

On joining the CGI, Varkey said: "President Clinton is a global statesman and a man of vision. The work of the members of the Clinton Global Initiative is having a profound impact in making quality education more accessible to communities around the world in both the private and public sector. I believe GEMS Education can contribute to global debates like the ones facilitated by the CGI. What appeals to us is their bias for action. We want to play a meaningful role through CGI and our position in the education sector means we are ideally placed to support positive change."

Innovative solutions

"I do believe education is the most significant issue in the world today. All our conflicts — prejudice and intolerance, poverty, and unprecedented environmental challenges — can be tackled through better education," Varkey added.

Established in 2005 by Clinton, the CGI convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges.

CGI annual meetings have brought together more than 125 current and former heads of state, 15 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs and other role players.