Hind Alowais and Stefania Giannini address the audience at the Unesco headquarters in Paris.
Expo 2020 Dubai will host the third United Nations International Day of Education on 24 January 2021, kickstarting a series of events designed to position education, and the learning it enables, as humanity's greatest renewable resource and an essential enabler for achieving a better future for all.
Hosted in partnership with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) and its partners in the UAE, the day will reaffirm education as a fundamental human right and celebrate the multiple ways in which education can preserve the planet, build shared prosperity and foster peace.
The announcement was made at the Unesco headquarters in Paris during the official commemoration of the second International Day of Education, which is celebrated in all UN member states, by UN agencies, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, the private sector and individuals.
Underlining one of Expo 2020's core missions – “ to inspire, empower and engage youth – the theme of education will be incorporated throughout the six months of Expo 2020 Dubai, which starts on 20 October 2020.
Speaking at the Paris event, Hind Alowais, Vice President, International Organisations and Non-Official Participants, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: "Today's discussion recognises education is our most important renewable resource. It is the essence of human capital, and without quality education and lifelong learning for everyone, we will not succeed in addressing the challenges facing our world.
"The UAE believes investing in people's welfare, knowledge and capabilities produces the greatest dividends for individuals, families and communities as a whole. We hope to leverage Expo 2020 as a platform for knowledge-sharing and look forward to celebrating next year's International Day of Education at Expo 2020 Dubai with Unesco and other partners, including the Centre for Research and Interdisciplinarity in Paris."
Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, Unesco said: "Unesco is delighted to partner with Expo 2020 Dubai to celebrate International Education Day one year from now, on 24 January 2021. We look forward to this formidable platform for showcasing the power of education and all the talent, creativity and energy it can unleash to promote humanity's common good and protect our shared planet."
Expo 2020's series of events related to education will culminate with the global community coming together on 17-19 March 2021 for RewirEd, a festival of education that aims to change the narrative from "the impossible" to "the possible."
These events will build on Expo 2020's commitment to creating a sustainable and enduring legacy, with education pivotal to achieving that goal. Through initiatives such as Expo Live and the Global Best Practice Programme, Expo 2020 is already supporting a number of projects around the world that are improving access to quality education.
Expo Live, Expo 2020's global innovation and partnership programme, has an allocated $100 million to back projects with creative solutions that help to improve people's lives or preserve the planet, or both. Expo Live is already supporting more than 10 initiatives that offer innovative solutions to enhance the education sector, spanning Bangladesh, Canada, Finland, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Lebanon, UAE and UK. Expo Live's University Innovation Programme, which aims to foster innovation, also has provided grants and support to 47 teams of students to take their ideas to project stage.
Expo 2020's Global Best Practice Programme spotlights projects that are providing real solutions to the world's biggest challenges in line with the globally-sourced Sustainable Development Goals. Three – from Pakistan, India and Tunisia – focus on quality education and will be showcased to millions of visitors at Expo 2020.
The biggest event ever held in the Arab World, Expo 2020 has the potential to inspire a million school students through the Expo School Programme, which is working with educators across the UAE to facilitate their access to The World's Greatest Show of human brilliance and achievement. Additionally, all 140,000 full-time UAE university students will be invited through the Expo University Programme.
Further demonstrating the importance of youth to the event's legacy, the Sustainability Pavilion will become a Children and Science Centre post-Expo.
With more than 200 participants, including 192 countries, Expo 2020 expects to record 25 million visits, with 70 per cent of visitors coming from outside the UAE – “the largest proportion in the 169-year history of the event. It runs from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021.
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