Promoting Unesco goals would be top priority: Al Kawari

Promoting Unesco goals would be top priority: Al Kawari

 02 Oct 2016 – 8:24

File photo of HE Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kawari, Cultural Adviser at Emiri Diwan and Qatar’s candidate for the post of Unesco’s Director General

File photo of HE Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kawari, Cultural Adviser at Emiri Diwan and Qatar’s candidate for the post of Unesco’s Director General

DOHA: Qatar has a programme to take Unesco out of its crisis which is going to be a fresh start for the organisation, said HE Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kawari, Cultural Adviser at Emiri Diwan and Qatar’s candidate for the post of Unesco’s Director General.

Speaking in Doha on Friday to the German news agency, DPA, Al Kawari said that nomination of an Arab personality for the first time to the post of Director General of the organisation represented a great opportunity for a number of parties to cooperate.

Asked about his vision for education in the Arab countries, Al Kawari said that education is a global issue and the solutions should not be geography-oriented.

Al Kawari said, if he is elected as Director-General, his top priority would be to promote the goals of Unesco. The next priority is to find creative solutions to the organisation’s financial problems.

“I believe the upcoming Director General will have to come out with creative suggestions to take the organisation out of the crisis it has been facing for decades, not simply sit in his office in Paris,” he said.

He noted that there are small and poor countries around the world that need support in carrying out the necessary projects to promote education. As a result, a new way for providing finances must be implemented in order to help those countries.

On how he will deal with Unesco’s financial problems, Al Kuwari said that business leaders from around the world could finance educational programmes on a larger scale.

He added that Qatar’s Educate A Child (EAC) programme will provide education to 10 million students across the globe by the end of 2016.

Qatar has heavily supported Unesco programmes, Al Kawari said, citing its financial support to preserve world heritage sites in Sudan and Yemen as an example.

On his candidacy, Al Kawari said, “The Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (Alesco) discussed my candidacy as an Arab nominee and I got support of 19 member countries. Later some Arab countries presented their nominations. I respect that because it is a matter of their sovereignty and none can question any state on their nomination, whether it be Egypt, Lebanon or any other country.”

“But at the end, the world community must elect one who is efficient and who can fulfill the requirements,” he added.

Education not enough to stop terrorism: Al Kawari

Al Kawari said that he had visited a number of African, European, Latin American and Asian countries to seek their support for his candidacy, taking the chance to listen to their priorities for Unesco, which left a feeling that there was a commitment to education and heritage across the globe.

He recalled his visit to Italy, which backed him for the post. During the visit, he gave a speech that highlighted the link between the poor education system and extremism. He noted most terrorists were holders of university degrees, a fact which shows that even higher education is not enough to stop extremism, and that required rethinking on how to improve education. He emphasised that there is one way for going forward and that would be to focus on moral values, along with academic education.

The Qatari candidate also discussed the efforts he will make to bring the US back to Unesco. The US is a major power and it should not stay out of the organisation for long. He said that there were plenty of good signs he saw during his visit to the US, when he met with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

He said if he is elected to Unesco’s top post, he would host an annual summit in Paris on education, culture and science. He added that this was one of many ideas he had for promoting the role of the organization and financing its projects.

“I have many programmes and ideas which I don’t want to disclose. But I am going to discuss them with the countries and the Unesco executive council. Among them is taking Unesco to every house and every individual in the world,” said Al Kawari.

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