UN honours Mohammed bin Rashid Knowledge Foundation as ‘Knowledge Partner’

NEW YORK, 19th September, 2018 (WAM) -- The United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, has honoured the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, MBRF, as a "Knowledge Partner" on the sidelines of the General Assembly’s meeting in New York City. The UNDP sought to honour the foundation to mark ten years of close partnership, which resulted in several leading projects in the Arab region and the world.

The ceremony was attended by Jamal bin Huwaireb, MBRF’s CEO, on behalf of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Foundation’s Chairman, in addition to Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator; Saud Al Shamsi, Deputy Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN; and Mourad Wahba, UNDP’s Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director for the Regional Bureau for Arab States.

Honouring the foundation marks the first time any Arab organisation has been named "Knowledge Partner" and is the culmination of the many international initiatives launched by the foundation, most notable of which was the world’s first Global Knowledge Index, whose results were announced at the Knowledge Summit 2017, and covered 131 countries around the world.

Speaking at the ceremony, bin Huwaireb underlined the strong partnership that has brought the two sides for a full decade, asserting that the collaboration was "guided by the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership, who has repeatedly proven its commitment to strengthening our partnerships with entities at both the local and international levels, in an effort to build knowledge societies founded on sustainability and investment in human capital."

The MBRF CEO conveyed Sheikh Ahmed's gratitude for the UN's honouring, noting that this constitutes "a significant addition to our record of achievements, which have had a notable impact on efforts to spread knowledge and develop human capital."

Bin Huwaireb’s speech highlighted the major milestones achieved during the decade-long partnership, "not least of which," he added, "was launching three Knowledge Reports since 2009 to create a knowledge-centred movement in the Arab world and delve deep into the realities of knowledge in the Arab world and the role of new generations in the production, dissemination and localisation of knowledge."

"The year 2015 witnessed a new and significant development in our relationship with the UNDP," he continued. "That was the year we launched the Arab Knowledge Index, which seeks to track the state of knowledge in the Arab world on a yearly basis, taking into account the specificities of the region. The flagship project was accompanied by the launch of the Knowledge4All initiative – an electronic platform serving as a reference for those involved in the knowledge sector."

He added that in 2016, the UAE launched the Arab Reading Index in an effort to measure the popularity of reading in the region and propose solutions for the challenges that face it. The Index succeeded in systematically debunking many misconceptions about reading in the Arab world.

For his part, Steiner said that investing in knowledge should be a priority for any country trying to achieve the ambitious Vision 2030, noting that the partnership between the MBRF and UNDP is rooted in a shared vision centred around knowledge as a means for sustainable development.

The honouring ceremony included a meeting between bin Huwaireb and Achim Steiner to explore how to further strengthen the partnership between the two entities, as well as another meeting with Mourad Wahba to explore the scope and prospects of the partnership for the upcoming ten years. The event concluded with bin Huwaireb receiving the award, followed by a session to announce the results of the Global Knowledge Index and the importance of knowledge in sustainable development.

WAM/Rola Alghoul/Nour Salman