Kuwait hosts conference to aid Somalia as contribution to peace
PARIS: The chairman of the organizing committee for the donors’ conference for supporting education in Somalia, Dr Ghanem Al-Najjar, said the State of Kuwait’s initiative to host the international conference next year is in line with its conviction that education “is the path for peace and stability in the whole region.”
Dr Najjar, a political sciences professor at Kuwait University, made the remarks to KUNA as he emerged from a meeting of the four parties participating in the planned conference, namely Kuwait, Somalia, ISESCO (the Islamic Educational, Scientific and cultural Organization), ALECSO (the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization).
The Kuwaiti international expert indicated to KUNA that Paris “was the most appropriate venue to declare the State of Kuwait’s adoption of the donors’ conference,” however he noted that preparations for the international meeting would take a long time.
The idea of holding the conference was first proposed during ALECSO’s quarters as an initiative to help the Somalis survive wide-spread annihilation and chaos, since December 1990, thus causing losses at various levels in the nation.
‘Somalization,’ the term widely used in reference to the utter tragic conditions in the African nation has spread to several other countries in the region such as Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Libya and other regional countries, with the number of children failing to study hitting 14 million, “thus creating a fertile ground for terrorism and extremism. Therefore, there is a difficult future ahead of us, unless we take action, so our outlook is based on education.”
Dr Najjar said action to relieve these crises-stricken nations would begin in Somalia, with emphasis on enabling children attend schools. The upcoming conference, tentatively due either in April or May next year, would be different from other conventions that had been held at this level to address such crises, in a hastily and immediate manner; for it would envisage an integrated perspective, aimed at securing teaching equally in all Somali regions.
Dr Najjar expressed satisfaction at responses of UNESCO’s international group toward the Kuwaiti initiative, which envisions “new thinking and perspective; thus this will raise the name of Kuwait high and add to its bright record at the international quarters.”
The conference organizers will coordinate with various states, namely the GCC countries and relevant UN agencies as well as the private sector “to hammer out a solid executive perspective with aim of tackling difficulties that lie ahead.” He lauded Kuwait’s Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Bader Al-Essa for adopting the initiative which had been born within the ALECSO and ISESCO quarters, and for conveying the initiative to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah “who expressed strong support for it.” “The project had been referred to the Cabinet which relayed it to the Foreign Ministry as it holds the jurisdictions in this respect, thus we will hold consultations with the ministry officials and discuss some executive matters,” Dr Najjar told KUNA.
Dr Najjar and his peers in the four-party coordination commission have recently visited crises-stricken regions in Somalia, examined humanitarian conditions first hand and held meetings with top leaders. The Kuwaiti professor had served as the UN commissioner for human rights in Somalia between 2011 and 2009. Kuwait, during the UNESCO 38th conference, had announced that the Gulf State would host the conference for Somalia to help children and contribute to stability in the country and the region.