In recognition of its success in service to educational causes since its founding in 2012, Education Above All Foundation (EAA), a global, Qatar-based initiative founded by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, has been granted the status of establishing official relations with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
This achievement is a first for a Qatari organisation, and EAA is only the third organisation in the Arab world to have this status with UNESCO. EAA’s selection for the establishment of official relations is based on common areas of interest, synergies and previous collaborations, particularly in the fields of education of the most marginalised, and protection of education from attack, insecurity and conflict. Worldwide, fewer than 400 organisations maintain officials relations with UNESCO.
Marcio Barbosa, CEO of EAA, said: “We are immensely proud of UNESCO’s recognition of EAA’s achievements and work to promote education for all, as this announcement indicates. As a strategic partner of EAA, UNESCO is aware of our work and has been with us along the way. This highlights the growing recognition of the work done and the contributions being made by EAA on priority issues, such as fulfilling the right of all children to have access to a quality primary education. We believe that the impact of our joint activities with UNESCO will be further enhanced by this new relationship and allow us a further platform for our issues to be considered on the global development agenda.”
As a result of the establishment of official relations, EAA will have a voice in UNESCO’s programming and budgeting and the opportunity to voice its opinion to the organisation that plays a key role on global cultural and educational policy. EAA will also have greater access to participate in global and intergovernmental conferences and summits where it will have a platform to advocate on behalf of its programmes and projects. UNESCO plays a convener role in setting the Education 2030 Framework for Action on Sustainable Development Goal 4.
UNESCO follows specific criteria for the admission of organisations with which to have official relations, which includes alignment of goals, activities on an international scale and in respect of cultural identity and to be recognised by the international community for its ideals and ethical principles.
Through its Educate A Child, Al Fakhoora and Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict programmes, EAA advocates and acts to support education access and protection of education. Through its awareness-raising activities, EAA aims to remind the international community of the promise which must be kept to the world’s children, that of achieving universal primary education, and to bring to the fore the urgency to protect education in environments of insecurity and conflict.