Hosted by the World Bank, the Learning for All Ministerial meeting brought ministers from eight countries together with UN agencies, foundations and other donors to identify what it will take to promote learning for all. The eight focus countries, which together represent over 50% of the world’s out-of-school children, are Nigeria, Haiti, Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Bangladesh. In a series of ‘country meetings’, Her Highness met with finance and education ministers to examine bottlenecks to providing quality education in their countries. Later, at a ministerial roundtable hosted by the World Bank President, the UN Secretary-General and the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Her Highness set out her vision of what it will take to get all of the 57 million children deprived of their educational birthright back into school.
“What I hope to see resulting from these meetings is a holistic approach to getting children into schools. A comprehensive approach that tackles the obstacles that prevent children from learning. An approach that is not only focused on education, but also tackles poverty by creating job opportunities and the economic foundations that will enable education to be sustainable.”
Sheikha Moza bint Nasser
Her Highness also attended the second Steering Committee meeting of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative, held at the World Bank headquarters. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the meeting by making a special reference to Her Highness’s leadership in education.
“Her Highness Sheikha Moza is so passionate in leading the campaign for education”, Ban ki-Moon said. “In Qatar you will see real 21st century education facilities. This is the way to show leadership,”
Her Highness informed the other members on progress achieved towards the second Millennium Development Goal by her Educate A Child initiative, and urged for further coordination and advocacy among the Steering Committee members.
Educate A Child also received a particular mention from UN Education Envoy, Rt Hon Gordon Brown, who described its upcoming meeting in Doha on 28-30 April as a crucial follow-up to the World Bank ministerial talks.
Launched by the UN Secretary-General in September 2012, the Global Education First Initiative aims to achieve education for all, strengthen the global movement to achieve quality education and foster global citizenship. At this second meeting of the Steering Committee, members discussed the Framework of Actions they have each undertaken towards the second Millennium Development Goal and their plans for further individual and joint actions.
Sheikha Moza is the UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education. Her own Educate A Child initiative, which she launched at the WISE conference in Doha last November, is already helping to provide quality primary education to over half a millionchildren in some of the most challenging circumstances and regions of the world.