H.E First Lady Fazna Ahmed has met with H.E Marco Suazo, Head of United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) New York Office, Ms Lucia J. Guo, Executive Director of the Global Foundation for the Performing Arts (GPFA) and Mr Byron Zhou, Pianist on the artist roster of the GFPA. The First Lady was joined at the meeting by the Permanent Representative of the Maldives to United Nations, H.E Thilmeeza Hussain.
Discussions at the meeting, held at the Permanent Mission of the Maldives in New York, were centred on collaboration on music art therapy in the Maldives. The First Lady thanked the representatives from UNITAR and GFPA for taking the time to meet her, stating that her visit to New York during UNGA has been an opportunity to explore potential windows for new mutually beneficial partnerships. Speaking as an educator, she expressed interest in the use of art and music in education, inquiring the first steps to initiate collaboration with UNITAR and GFPA to conduct training for Maldivian teachers in art therapy.
The representatives of UNITAR and GFPA highlighted the educational and healing benefits of art and music and briefed the First Lady on online courses conducted in collaboration with world-renowned institutions such as Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They conveyed ready willingness to facilitate art and music therapy for children through train-the-trainer sessions aimed at Maldivian teachers.
The First Lady further proposed a joint collaboration between the Maldives and, UNITAR and GFPA to facilitate art and music therapy sessions targeted to children in state care. The representatives of UNITAR and GFPA agreed to hold discussions with stakeholders in the Maldives at the earliest to formulate a programme tailored for children in state care.
The meeting concluded with all parties affirming their commitment to carry forward the partnership discussed in the meeting.