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HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser speaking at a MDG Advocacy Group meeting convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The MDG Group Advocacy meeting was held during the 69th United Nations General Assembly in New York. PICTURE: A R Al-Baker/HHOPL
HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser has called for international support to promote basic education which is the “key to overcoming development challenges”.
Speaking at a Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Advocacy Group meeting during the 69th UN General Assembly to align resources to transform the lives of millions of children, Sheikha Moza reiterated her commitment to push for universal primary education for all.
“When the US secretary-general entrusted me with this mission, I was inspired to do what I could, to offer a chance to the 58mn out-of-school children across the world,” she said.
Marginalised children affected by conflict and crisis are a long-standing priority for Sheikha Moza.
She spoke of the hope she had witnessed in visiting a number of projects which are supported by Educate A Child, an initiative launched in 2012.
The initiative has already committed support to 2.5mn children in 33 countries. It works with local communities to overcome barriers to education and develops solutions which can be scaled up and replicated. The goal is to support 10mn children into school by the end of the 2015-2016 school year.
Sheikha Moza argued that that basic education was key to overcoming other development challenges and called for international support.
“We know that basic education improves health outcomes, reduces involvement in conflict, enhances employment and can benefit countries’ GDP,” she said.
“With sufficient increases in funding and enough commitment, we could make the issue of out-of-school children a thing of the past. Yet, until universal primary education is achieved, out-of-school children will be an unforgivable underinvestment in human capital – a costly barrier preventing nations from reaching their full economic and social potential.”
Sheikha Moza contributed to the MDG Advocates’ Leaders Report which was launched yesterday. Entitled “Accelerating Action: Global Leaders on Challenges and Opportunities for MDG Achievement”, the Leaders Report is authored by 37 world leaders looking at successful policies and interventions championed by governments and partners to drive progress on the MDGs, as well as obstacles faced and actions taken to overcome them.
Earlier, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an end to the unfinished business of Millennium Development Goals and welcomed the international partners and MDG Advocates to the event to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the achieving theobjectives to deliver a healthier, equitable and more sustainable future.
Other speakers at the event included Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and MDG Advocates Graça Machel, Ray Chambers, Ted Turner, Mohamed Yunus, Jeffrey Sachs, Stine Bosse, Philippe Douste-Blazy and Dho Young-shim.
The event included the participation of Roll Back Malaria executive director Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traori, South African singer and RBM Goodwill Ambassador Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Britain’s former prime minister, Gordon Brown. UN deputy secretary-general Jan Eliasson delivered closing remarks.
Ban in June 2010 established the MDG Advocacy Group of eminent personalities who have shown outstanding leadership in promoting the implementation of goals in such fields as education, food security, health, environment, and the empowerment of women. The group supports the secretary-general in building political will and mobilising global action for the benefit of the poor and most vulnerable, aiming for the achievement of the MDGs by the 2015 target date.