EAC aims to work in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen and Somalia.
It also announced that it has a number of new projects in the pipeline, from getting thousands of children into school in Pakistan to setting up a global monitoring and evaluation system, with nine agreements signed today.
Speaking at a closed session of the High Level Strategic Meeting (HSLM) today in Doha, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser expressed her concern at the prospect of the world failing to meet its goals for providing education for all the world’s children. The two-day HLSM was organized by Educate A Child, the programme launched last year by Her Highness, which aims to reduce the number of children who are denied an education in the world.
Addressing Ministers and senior government representatives of the 17 priority countries at the meeting, who together account for over 60 percent (37million) of the world’s 57 million out of school children, Her Highness said “Each one of you has been invited to this meeting because you are leaders with the capacity to influence outcomes and promote change. The political will of the 17 countries here today, together with the expertise and commitment of all the partners present, can have a real impact in shifting the dynamic for out-of-school children and MDG attainment.”
A great deal of work has been done to identify obstacles and bottlenecks in providing universal primary education. Most recently, the ‘Learning for All’ consultations in Washington DC 10 days ago with eight countries helped to shed light on the problems – the 17 countries represented in Doha will be able to expand that understanding further:
“No one working alone will be able to overcome the global education challenge that we face. What I hope to see resulting from this meeting is collective and innovative action. I hope to see partnerships being forged. I hope to see coherence being built between different sectors – business, education, finance, health, sanitation and food security. This meeting is where we can learn from each other, where we can explore how to apply new and innovative approaches.” - Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
At the event opening session the Rt Hon Gordon Brown, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Education, spoke movingly in support of EAC and exhorted partners to support the EAC programme, while HE Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Jabr Al Thani, Minister's Assistant for International Co-operation Affairs, from Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed the continued support of Qatar for EAC’s programmes.
"No initiative has done more for out of school children in such a short space of time than EAC; but despite everything we are doing, we still face an education emergency."
said Mr. Brown.
During the High Level Segment of the meeting Ministers and other high-level officials from international and bilateral organizations, along with leaders from civil society and the private sector, exchanged views on the challenges to provide educational opportunities to out of school children in EAC targeted countries. Participants shared ideas, insights and plans for implementation and discussed what it will take to achieve MDG 2. At the end, participants confirmed their intention to work together, as part of a concerted global effort, to galvanize international action and facilitate decreasing the numbers of out-of-school children at a greater rate than today. Her Highness signed an agreement today with UNESCO in support of the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative, in addition to several Memorandums of Understanding with a number of representatives of private sector organisations and foundations in support of EAC’s goals.