Dr. Ali Shaar, Director of the Palestinian Child Institute Visit to the United States
Dr. Ali Shaar, Director of the Palestinian Child Institute at An-Najah National University had a visit to the United States on 18th- 22nd November, 2019 and participated in several high level meetings aiming at raising the voice of Palestinian children at the United Nations.
Meetings were attended by high officials at the United Nations including the special representative of the Secretary General on violence on children. The Meetings resulted in the adoption of the Nablus Declaration (the declaration from the international conference on Early Childhood, which was held at An-Najah University early November) as a formal document within the Early Childhood Peace Consortium (ECPC) to be presented to the Secretary General of the United Nations HE. Mr. Antonio Gotteres.
The meeting of the LINKS project hosted by Harvard University as Palestine will join the six countries involved in the project as of 2020. This project will be implemented with leadership from Queen`s University in Belfast and will address Early Childhood in countries affected by armed conflict. Within this project, Palestine will work in partnership with the Colombian ECD organization (CINDE) and Bogota University on conducting assessment of ECD in the country, provide program interventions and conduct an evaluation in preparation of scaling up.
Dr. Shaar also attended the General Assembly meeting on CRC: in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of Children. Participation of many children from the world was a special highlight in this year's event and a record number of 115 country representatives presented the work their countries are doing in supporting children.
As for the Early Childhood Peace Consortium meeting, Dr. Shaar was elected as a member of the advisory board of the consortium upon nomination from the chairperson of the consortium, Dr. Rima Salah. The Special Representative of the Secretary General for violence co-chaired the meeting and emphasized the importance of Dr. Shaar`s contribution to the consortium through bringing the voices of children to this high level.
The visit resulted in developing a rich network with the office of the Secretary General, Harvard University, Yale University, World Vision, Children Fund and others paving the road for high level international cooperation.
In addition to projects and programs to be developed and implemented as a result of this visit, a recommendation to hold an international symposium on ECD in Nablus as a follow up to the international conference. The Early Childhood Peace Consortium and the International Network agreed to hold their annual meetings in Palestine in the future.