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Statement from the President of the IBE Council

  • By Hamoud bin Khalfan Al Harthy
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  • 19/03/ 2018
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The 2017 issue of IBE In Focus invites us all to reflect on what accounts for the IBE’s extraordinary longevity and successful evolution over its 92 years of existence. Most importantly, it foreshadows the future of the IBE.

In its 92-year history, the IBE has left an indelible mark on the field of education. The first intergovernmental organization on education, it founded global education as we know it today. Since 1929, the IBE has been convening intellectual, political, and technical trailblazers, along with other stakeholders, to discuss and set global policies and programs, leaving an unmistakable influence on major global education policies the world still implements today. It is now fostering its anticipatory and foresight capacity, reaffirming itself as the Center of Excellence and a global intellectual, technical and normative leader on curriculum, and on its teaching, learning, assessment, and systemic implementation.

The IBE has stood the test of time and remains meaningful, primarily because of the purpose it serves; put simply, it responds to the needs of peoples and countries. The fundamental purposes and unique values that define the IBE have not changed, for they are enduring. But the problems to be solved have constantly broadened and become ever more complex, in a world almost unimaginably different from the one the IBE’s founders inhabited nearly a century ago. It is a world that faces urgent concerns, from the rise of violent extremism and humanitarian crises, to the growing divide between rich and poor, to gender inequality and climate change. And the list continues.

I believe the IBE is ideally suited to reflect on and respond to the challenges of this new era.

As the president of the IBE Council, I feel energized by and confident about the opportunities before the IBE. Yet, the IBE faces formidable strains and obstacles.

I call on Member States to step up their voluntary contributions to the IBE. I specifically thank the Swiss Confederation, the Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Seychelles for their generous voluntary contributions, without which the world would not have enjoyed the intellectual leadership and technical services of the IBE. But these three countries cannot bear the burden alone. Collectively, we cannot allow financial challenges to jeopardize the IBE’s shared intellectual heritage of nearly a century, just as the pace of change intensifies in the 21st century, leading the world to so crucially need the IBE’s anticipatory and foresight capacity. Our voluntary contributions, and the ongoing diversification of IBE’s partners (including the private sector, foundations, and private philanthropists) spearheaded by the Director and her team, are essential to sustain our joint benefits from the technical assistance of the IBE, as well as to sustain its ability to stay at the forefront of creating, managing, integrating, and disseminating knowledge in service to the world.

The IBE’s first commitment is to the Member States: supporting their efforts to provide quality, relevant, and equitable education and learning opportunities to all.

As we take note of the projects, partnerships, events, and publications presented in this captivating issue of IBE In Focus, I hope we can pause to appreciate even more a less visible but crucial element: the monumental efforts and consuming drive behind everything the IBE offers to the world.

Please join me in taking responsibility for the future of the IBE.