UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Founder and Chairperson of the Education Above All Foundation, called for stronger engagement to prioritize education on the human development agenda during a joint event at UNESCO headquarters, on 28 February 2018.
On the occasion of this visit, UNESCO and Educate A Child, a programme of the Education Above All Foundation, signed a project agreement to reach 150,000 out-of-school children in Iraq, building on a first phase that enrolled over 37,000 children and trained some 1,000 teachers. UNESCO and Education Above All work together in 11 countries.
“Sustainable Development Goal 4 on education conditions the achievement of the entire 2030 Agenda,” affirmed UNESCO’s Director-General. Citing figures of education’s impact on alleviating poverty, improving health and combating early marriage, she affirmed that “transforming our world starts with education. To receive a quality education is to acquire a mindset open to understanding others, it is to nurture critical thinking, the best rampart against the temptation of extremism. It is to develop responsible citizenship in order to understand the challenges we face and to craft solutions for a sustainable future.”
The event, titled “Connecting the SDGs: The Key Role of Education,” coincided with the opening of the SDG-Agenda 2030 Steering Committee meeting, which brings together 38 members to provide strategic guidance and recommendations on the implementation of the global education goal.
During her speech, Her Highness Sheikha Moza, UNESCO Envoy for Basic and Higher Education, highlighted why investment in education is key to human development and described the multi-sectoral approach of her Foundation. “We know that quality education impacts development well beyond the walls of the classroom, which is why multi-sectoral solutions have been so critical to achieving quick, on-the-ground results and long lasting impact, but there is still much to be done, which is why we need political commitment.”