KUWAIT CITY, Nov 13, (KUNA): Under His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah’s patronage late Thursday in Paris, France, the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization’s (UNESCO) honored late Sheikh Abdullah Al- Jaber Al-Sabah as an international educational and cultural figure for 2014-2015.
Delivering a speech on behalf of His Highness the Amir, Deputy Amiri Diwan Minister Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah said that the Kuwaiti leadership was grateful for the UNESCO honoring of late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Jaber, affirming that it was reflective of the organization’s mission to honor important education and cultural figures. Sheikh Ali stressed the UN honoring of Kuwaiti figures was an important gesture of recognition from the international organization.
Today’s honoring of Sheikh Abdullah is another accolade for Kuwait, said Sheikh Ali Al- Jarrah, adding that it followed the UN honoring of Kuwait as a humanitarian center and His Highness the Amir as a humanitarian leader. Kuwait is very pleased to receive this honor due to the late Kuwaiti figure’s relentless efforts to promote education in Kuwait since the mid-1930s, said the minister. Sheikh Abdullah was keen on Kuwait gaining the UNESCO membership in 1958, said Sheikh Ali who took the chance to thank the UN organization for this honoring.
On her part, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, said on the occasion of the celebration of the “Legacy of Sheikh Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah “I am deeply honored to be with you today for this event under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait, to pay tribute to the legacy of Sheikh Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.”
“It is an honor, indeed, to pay tribute to the legacy of a great man and to recall his achievements across the fields of education and culture. His vision and leadership left a profound impact on the development of Kuwait. In more ways than one, he was a pioneer of Kuwait as it stands today,” said the director. “He was an educational reformer — as a Minister of Education, he succeeded in modernizing the education system. His focus fell on inclusion in education — opening the way for girls to go to school. He was a great believer in culture and education as forces for innovation and development, supporting heritage as a source of identity and belonging, as well as creativity and innovation. He was first also to encourage cultural exchanges, along with seminars and lectures, to deepen knowledge and mutual understanding, to strengthen bridges of dialogue across borders.” She went on saying that “All of this helped shape the country, its society, its young women and men, as well as its relationship with the world, on the basis of dignity, equality and mutual respect,” adding that “These principles stand today at the heart of Kuwait’s action on the global stage.”
“The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Kimoon has commended His Highness Sheikh Sabah for championing a global response to the crisis in Syria, hosting three conferences of donors – and you are on the frontline of the next conference for Syria to be held in London. I was privileged to participate in one of these conferences — I have seen how deeply culture and education matter for Kuwait, how much education and culture are placed at the heart of any sustainable response by the State of Kuwait.”
“This resonates powerfully with UNESCO’s mandate and action. I am deeply grateful for the contribution of 5.5 million US dollars by Kuwait in 2015 to UNESCO’s emergency response to the Syria crisis – helping refugees and internally displaced persons inside Syria, providing quality education, psycho-social support and skills for a better life,” said Bokova.