Queen Rania Encourages Active Private Sector Involvement in Education at UNDP Ceremony

September 24, 2008

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department – New York) Co-hosting the UNDP World Business and Development Award ceremony in New York, Wednesday, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah used the platform as an opportunity to encourage attendees from the private sector to get more involved in improving access to quality education around the world.

“One of the issues that matters most to me is education,” said the Queen, “Going to school is a critical rung on the ladder up from poverty. And for girls in particular, who are still kept out of school in disproportionate numbers, an education is a source of empowerment within their families and communities, and a gift passed on to future generations, as educate girls become educated women who raise educated children of their own.” Queen Rania, who is in New York to highlight the importance of universal access to quality education during the opening week of the United Nations’ General Assembly, spoke to hundreds of business, development and UN leaders, and representatives of governments about the private sector’s role. “Schools need your help as technology providers, content developers, managerial experts. Children and communities need your help as mentors, trainers, and role models,” she urged. Her Majesty cited her newly launched Madrasati (My School) initiative as an example of how the private, public and civil society sector should come together to work towards the same goal, urging business leaders to think of an investment in education as “an indispensable investment in the kind of employees, customers, and communities on which your long-term success depends.” “With your support, I know we can make the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) a reality – so a boy or girl who is born this year can someday look back and say, ‘2008 was the year the world meant business for development and hope,’” she said.

Held under the patronage of Queen Rania Al Abdullah and Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade, the award ceremony is part of the special focus on the MDGs in New York this week. The World Business and Development Awards ceremony showcases creative initiatives by corporations, large and small, who apply their core business expertise to world-wide efforts to achieve the MDGs. In total this year’s winners improved the lives of millions of poor people across Africa, Asia and Latin America. The awards were co-hosted by the United Nations Development Program, the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF). “I hope that by the next time these prestigious awards take place, Arab businesses will be in the running, too,” said Queen Rania, who has been encouraging sustainable social- involvement from the private sector, especially in regards to education, in Jordan and throughout her travels around the Middle East this year.