Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Unesco’s Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education, has pledged to increase her support to Unesco’s core education activities as a direct response to the financial difficulties faced by the organisation.
Sheikha Moza is particularly concerned that the decision of some member states to withhold contributions will have serious and adverse consequences on Unesco’s core programmes and mark setbacks for sustainable development and peace, at a time when international cooperation is critical for achieving quality universal education, a statement posted on the Unesco website said.
Sheikha Moza has called upon all partners to join her in this initiative given the challenges ahead, four years short of the 2015 target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and following the commitment made by the Heads of States at the Millennium Development Goal Summit in New York in 2010.
Sheikha Moza has stated that the financial difficulties faced by the organisation stands to affect all its core programmes.
“This marks a very strong sign of Her Highness’ deep commitment to education for all, which is the foundation for building more peaceful and sustainable societies.
“Unesco will put every effort into ensuring that this support translates into opening educational opportunities for the most marginalised, improving the quality of education systems in least developed countries, and forging new partnerships,” said Unesco’s Director-General Irina Bokova.
This emergency initiative will support the programme and budget adopted by the 36th General Conference, in particular the reinforcement of leadership for Education for All, through advocacy, partnership and monitoring, with a special emphasis on girls and women.
Concerted attention will be placed on the least developed countries, which are furthest away from reaching the Education for All goals.
The modalities for this important initiative will be worked out in the next few weeks with all the speed and urgency required to minimise the possible negative impact to Unesco core programme adopted by the 36th General Conference of Member States.
Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, who is also the United Nations’ Secretary-General’s special advocate for Millennium Development Goal 2 on primary education, has provided long time support to Unesco’s activities, notably for literacy, curriculum development, teacher education and rehabilitation of higher education in Iraq, emergency support to education in Gaza, and support to the publication of the Education under Attack series.
Director-General Irina Bokova expressed her gratitude to Her Highness for her positive and timely support to Unesco.