A Dubai Cares delegation, led by Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares, joined representatives of UN aid agencies, heads of states, ministers, NGOs, policy experts, leaders of foundations, representatives of civil society organisations, academic institutions, delegates from member states of the UN and the business community in New York this week to discuss the next steps towards achieving universal primary education for children around the world.
In a series of high-level meetings convened on the sidelines of the 69th United Nations General Assembly, the global humanitarian development agencies focused on re-energising the movement towards eliminating the largest barriers towards education with a further injection of funds, expertise and global awareness campaigns.
The Dubai Cares delegation participated in a forum co-chaired by UN Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, and World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, to discuss the Global Education First Initiative (GEFI).
The forum seeks to address fundamental issues in the provision of quality, relevant and transformative education for everyone by 2015 and beyond.
In support of the initiative, Dubai Cares has consistently aligned its programmes in vulnerable communities by ensuring quality primary education, creating safe learning environments, increasing resources, facilitating support for parents and training for teachers.
Alongside these events, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, U.A.E. Minister of State and Chairperson of Dubai Cares, participated in the "Putting Education to Work" plenary session of the Clinton Global Initiative, which convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges, addressing the importance of primary education and sharing lessons learnt in creating partnerships in education that have sustainable and meaningful impact.
Commenting on the significance of the meetings he attended, Tariq Al Gurg said, "There is an overwhelming need for collective action towards enforcing primary schooling opportunities for every child. These meetings are instrumental in bringing together the best minds from around the world to exchange opinions and ideas, share best practices, highlight challenges and formulate solutions. We are all working towards achieving Millennium Development Goal 2 (MDG 2), i.e. to ensure that by 2015, every child will be able to complete a full course of primary education.
"Through these meetings and interactions, we are not only aligning our programmes with the Global Education First Initiative and MDG strategy, but also leading by example and showcasing the U.A.E.'s expertise in the area of humanitarian development," he continued.
The Dubai Cares delegation also attended High Level Inter-Ministerial Meetings with the President of Cote D'Ivoire and the President of Tanzania, held in support of the UN Secretary-General's GEFI.
In addition, the delegation participated in A World at School September Forum with the Global Business Coalition for Education, hosted by Sarah Brown, and The Countdown is On: All in for 2015 meeting to discuss the deadline for MDG 2.
With a view towards charting the post-2015 developmental agenda, the Dubai Cares delegation also participated in a forum entitled Strengthening Philanthropy's Engagement with the Post 2015 Development Agenda. The forum highlighted avenues for humanitarian organisations, such as Dubai Cares, in formulating global development goals, advocating value of education amongst governments whilst keeping the developmental agenda on track.
The meetings, held on the sidelines of the 69th United Nations General Assembly, also included talks on education and health and early childhood development as well as the impact of business coalitions on humanitarian aid and development.
These platforms are key to Dubai Cares, as it offers the organisation a platform to exchange opinions and hold discussions with bilateral, international and regional organisations on global economic and social development.