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Noura Al Kaabi speaking during the conference (Photo: WAM)

Noura Al Kaabi stresses importance of education, science and culture at UNESCO General Conference … reports Asian Lite News

Noura Al Kaabi speaking during the conference (Photo: WAM)

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, and Chair of the UAE National Commission for Education, Science and Culture, led the UAE’s delegation at the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference yesterday in Paris.

In her speech, she addressed the importance of international understanding and cooperation to meet the needs of the people in the areas of education, culture, and science.

She spoke at length about UAE’s commitment to UNESCO’s ambition in providing quality education, developing future frameworks for artificial intelligence and science, the need for more recognition of cultural and celebration of the Arabic language.

Noura Al Kaabi reiterated the importance of strong channels of communication and dialogue between key international partners and extended her gratitude to UNESCO for recognising the need to develop stronger platforms that encourage dialogue, and the inclusion of the UAE in the three forums which took place during the conference; the Ministers of Education Forum, the Ministers of Culture Forum, and the Youth Forum.

She also highlighted the UAE’s efforts in harnessing advanced technologies for the means of human development with the country being the first one to name a Minister of Artificial Intelligence and working with UNESCO on matters related to the ethics of AI.

Emphasising the strides made by the UAE in the education sector, the Minister spoke about the nation’s commitment to UNESCO’s leading sustainability development goals: “In the UAE, we’re committed to the UN’s 2030 Agenda, and stand ready to assist in the delivery of SDG 4. I would like to share that our national organisations have reached many adults and children worldwide and assist with the provision of education. UNESCO could tap into the generosity of aid and charity organisations and ensure efforts are targeted, impactful, and sustainable.”

Acknowledging the UNESCO’s ambitious proposal “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” and allowing the UAE to be a partner to rebuild Al Nuri Mosque, Al Tahera Church and Al Sa’aa Church, she reaffirmed that this is not a mere construction project but a message to the people of Mosul that they have all the support need for growth and continuity.

During the General Conference, she noted the importance of the Arabic language, saying, “While English dictionaries are updated annually, Arabic dictionaries have not been updated for decades. With 420 million people speaking the Arabic language, this poses a global challenge to Arabic. This prompted the UAE to work on the ‘State of the Arabic Language and its Future’ project, and we will make recommendations soon. We also call on UNESCO to explore collaborations with regional organisations like ISESCO and ALECSO, and even member states, to provide linguistic solutions that lead to inclusivity.”

Speaking about how science can aid and support current and future challenges, Al Kaabi said, “It is important for science to move from a theoretical exercise to applied research and action. We believe UNESCO can contribute to this by providing expert consultation and building connections and continuity between different member states. We also appreciate the steps taken by UNESCO in the area of climate change and we are committed to working with everyone on this pressing issue. ”

She further added, “The UAE is proud to be one of the top voluntary donors to the UNESCO. This demonstrates that our actions reflect our promises and values. But we’re also proud to be the country that named 2019 as the “Year of Tolerance”, to reaffirm a long-established tradition of co-existence, the celebration of diversity and intercultural dialogue.”

The 40th General Conference of UNESCO, which sets out the main objectives for the next two years, takes place in Paris from 12- 27 November 2019.

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