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Liberia's Education Minister Speaks At UNESCO GENERAL CONFERENCE
(UNESCO-PARIS, FRANCE-November 15, 2021) Education Minister Professor D. Ansu Sonii says Liberia's long standing membership with UNESCO and other international organizations shows testaments of the country's firm commitment to the principle of multilateralism and the protection and promoting of girls and women education.
Speaking at the 41st Session of UNESCO General Conference and the 75th Anniversary of UNESCO which runs from November 9th -24th, 2021 taking place in Paris, France, Professor Sonii emphasized the need for more attention to placed on education for all but with specific emphasis on education for girls and women.
“Nothing else does it better than Education in all of its forms, Culture in all of its glory, Science in all of its inventions, which taken together have a single purpose, to ensure peace and stability in the world. For these reasons all Nations, developed and developing, have taken to education as the principal prerequisite upon which development agendas are set”.
Minister Sonii said Liberia like many other countries have heard the call to action in accelerating the education processes of its citizens and residents, in particular Girls education, adding that as of 2021 the Government of Liberia has introduced special incentive to improve girls enrolment, retention and completion. In that regard, the Minister noted that the gaps at all levels between boys and girls have substantially narrowed.
Professor Sonii believes that by our collective efforts in addressing the underperformance of education systems in the developing world, we will be in a better position to overcome the evils of unemployment, poverty and inequality and undesirable migration. Additionally, Liberia supports the initiative of soccer in schools which we believe reconciles nations and sustain peace.
The Liberian Education Minister says Liberia requested that the Historic Providence Island, the site on which the first group of settlers of former slaves settled, which ultimately led to the founding of the Liberian state be declared a World Heritage Site. He said the historic Providence Island being the epicenter of the Liberia Story, founded with bravery in the midst of colonialism and land grabs all across Africa in that Century needs recognition as the Nation which championed most of the ambitions that led to the wave of independence for self- determination across the African continent in the 1900s.
The 75th Anniversary of the UNESCO brought together over Some 28 heads of state and government gathered.
In his video message, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres praised the role of UNESCO in promoting dialogue and mutual understanding.
"At a time of great inequalities, environmental crisis, polarization and the global pandemic, UNESCO's role is more critical than ever to restore trust and solidarity, to ensure greater access to education for all, promote cultural diversity and steer technological progress for the greater good," the UN boss said.
The work carried out by UNESCO proves its importance in "a more networked, inclusive and effective multilateralism that delivers tangible benefits for people across the world," he said.
The newly-re-elected Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay said that the UN agency was established "based on a strong conviction ... that peace should be established upon the foundation of the intellectual and moral solidarity of humanity.
Madam Azoulay highlighted the role of UNESCO, noting it played as an "essential tool" during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.