Qatar Marks Arab Human Rights Day under the Theme “Right to Quality Education”

The State of Qatar marked the Arab Human Rights Day, which falls on March 16 of each year under the theme “the right to quality education,” with an event co-organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the Arab League, the Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, and the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States.

In her speech marking the occasion, HE Minister of Education and Higher Education Buthaina bint Ali Al Jabr Al Nuaimi stressed that obtaining a quality education is the bedrock to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the actual portal to enjoy all other rights.

Her Excellency added that the wise leadership of the State of Qatar, led by HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, has a strong belief that education is a human right for all who reside in Qatar, a pillar of progress for societies, and a basic right to achieve democracy and sustainable development, as it is the first driver for development, and its effective and dependable tool to push life forward. Therefore, education in the State of Qatar has received continuous attention and support at all levels.

Her Excellency indicated that promoting and protecting human rights, including the right to education, has become a strategic choice for the State of Qatar as it has always been the main focus of the development processes pursued by Qatar. Qatar National Vision 2030 included axes and pillars that deal with the main issues of human rights in the fields of education, health, environment, expat labor rights, child and elderly rights, and women empowerment. Her Excellency noted the role of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), which seeks, in cooperation with ministries, institutions, civil society organizations, and international and regional organizations, to raise awareness among citizens and residents on the right to education.

HE Minister of Education and Higher Education explained that the State of Qatar’s interest in education was not limited to providing only internally, by exceeded its territories by adopting national, regional, and international initiatives aiming to provide quality education to millions of children who were deprived of it due to poverty, armed conflicts, lack of security, natural disasters, and racial discrimination. Her Excellency noted that HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser was the first to adopt these initiatives, out of her sincere belief and strong desire to protect and enhance every childs access to quality education. Her Highness established the Education Above All Foundation, out of which several programs emerged, such as Educate A Child (EAC), Al Fakhoora, Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC), and Reach Out To Asia to provide basic education to millions of children out of school. Her Highness contributed to the resolution submitted by the State of Qatar to the United Nations General Assembly on the Right to Education in Emergency Situations, which was adopted unanimously. Her Highness’s meeting with members of the UN Security Council in 2011 resulted in the issuance of Council Resolution No. 1998, which criminalizes attacks on schools and hospitals. Her Highness also proposed to the Social Forum of the Human Rights Council 2019 in Geneva to allocate an international day to protect education, and Sep. 9 of each year was adopted to mark International Day to Protect Education from Attack.

HE Buthaina bint Ali Al Jabr Al Nuaimi valued the role of the Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD) in supporting education in developing countries by providing financial grants and joint agreements with relevant organizations and supporting development projects to provide education in all its stages, especially technical and vocational education.QFFD has provided quality learning opportunities for about ten million children in more than 50 countries around the world, in addition to providing funding for the implementation of development programs, which in turn promote the right to education. Her Excellency stressed the importance of celebrating Arab Human Rights Day in emphasizing that schools, educational institutions, and universities should be spared the scourge of wars and conflicts, and recognize their civil and humanitarian nature, protect them, and not target them to always remain a safe haven to promote peace, development, and stability.

HE Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi affirmed the right of every individual to enjoy the right to education as an inherent human rights that includes the full development of the human personality and the preservation of human dignity, and the empowerment of every person to contribute effectively to society, and the development of the human element and investment in human being in a way that leads to the consolidation and respect for human rights.

His Excellency pointed out that education is of self-importance and is often described as a “double” right, as the degree of access to education affects the level of enjoyment of other human rights. Education is mentioned in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which Qatar has ratified, and education is a human right in itself. It is at the same time an indispensable means of realizing other human rights. Education, as an enabling right, is the main tool by which economically and socially marginalized adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty and gain the means to participate fully in their communities.

His Excellency also noted the vital role of education in empowering women, protecting children from exploitative labor and sexual exploitation, protecting the environment, and other positive returns, indicating that education is one of the best financial investments in which countries can invest.

The Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, which recently concluded in Doha, adopted concrete measures to implement the Doha Program of Action, which aims to renew and strengthen commitments between the least developed countries and their development partners, representing a strong turning point for the most vulnerable countries in the world to enable them achieve the goals of sustainable development, Dr Al Hammadi said, noting that the adoption of the Doha Program declaration represents the beginning of a new era of solidarity and the enormous social and economic benefits for the least developed countries, especially since one of the main axes of the conference is human development, investment in people, poverty eradication and capacity building through good education.

His Excellency pointed to Qatar’s belief that quality education contributes to fighting poverty, increasing job opportunities and development in developing societies, enabling them to achieve the goals of sustainable development and transforming them into the ranks of developed countries, as well as its belief that the issue of education is one of the main pillars of the country’s development programs, as education is the guarantee for building sustainable societies that are able to withstand challenges. It contributes to increasing the productivity of individuals and promoting economic growth. It also ensures the development of professional skills necessary to achieve sustainable development in various fields of life, which contributes to improving the health and living conditions of people.

From this standpoint, the State of Qatar seeks through its foreign policy and development projects to focus on education in its projects to support the least developed countries through development programs and plans that contribute to increasing school enrollment rates and reducing dropout rates, His Excellency said, pointing to what HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said in a speech before the Inter-Parliamentary Union: “Education in our time has become a social right that has turned into an integral part of human rights, and has been included in the goal 4 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Investing in quality education is one of the most important elements of building the economy, advancing societies, and achieving growth and prosperity. But ignorance is one of the most important obstacles to peoples growth and renaissance. It also stokes intolerance and racism, and facilitates the dissemination of preconceived notions against the different other.”

Director of the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States Abdulrahman Al Assimi expressed his pride that the Gulf States have achieved the noble goal and won the first place in the field of the human right to education, thanks to the support of the wise political leaders to the educational system.

He pointed out that the role of the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States in developing the educational system and achieving the integration of the education process in the member states comes as a natural result of the generous help and continuous support given by the leaders of the member states to the Bureau.

Chairman of the Arab Human Rights Committee (Charter Committee) Jaber bin Saleh Al Marri expressed his pride in marking the Arab Human Rights Day in the State of Qatar and its important significance which reflects the achievements made here that dazzled everyone during the World Cup, especially the file of human rights. Despite unjustified campaigns and criticism for undisclosed purposes, the people of determination in Qatar made their achievements a subject of admiration for all due to the accuracy of the prepared plans, the speed of implementation, the observance of standards, and the parallelism on various aspects, he said.

He explained that these efforts prompted the International Labor Organization, for example, to praise the workers’ file and the protection and care given to them, and these efforts contributed to the opening of an office for the National Human Rights Committee at Hamad International Airport to receive expatriates and to provide human rights awareness services in addition to many other services.

The Chairman of the Arab Human Rights Committee also noted that this abovementioned model is an extension of other models in various Arab countries, adding this prompts us to continue working within a unified framework under the umbrella of the Arab League to achieve more progress.

The two-day celebration of Arab Human Rights Day included a theatrical show for school students introducing the educational process in Qatar and the great leaps witnessed in a few years, along with the State of Qatar’s contribution to the dissemination of education and the promotion of human right to obtain a quality education in all environments without discrimination. It included a number of dialogue and discussion sessions shedding light on international cooperation efforts towards protecting the right to education and the concept and standards of quality in education. The second day of the event includes a panel discussion on the role of the national committees for education, culture and science in supporting the achievement of the goal 4 of sustainable development, as well as a student debate on the right to quality education, and a session on the impact of digital transformation on the quality of education.

Source: Ministry of foreign affairs