UN Secretary General António Guterres on Thursday called on the world community to say with one voice that “attacks on schools must stop” and that schools are safe to attend school.
Guterres called on a virtual one Event to commemorate International Day to Protect Education from Attack, which is celebrated worldwide on September 9th.
“Schools must be places of learning, security and peace,” he said, praising education not only to improve knowledge and skills, but also to change lives and drive development for people, communities and societies.
Nonetheless, he added: “Year after year this fundamental right is attacked”.
A senior UN official encouraged attendees to envision themselves as a child in a eager classroom or a teacher devoted to shaping the minds of the next generation.
“Ask themselves now the horrors caused by conflict in learning, ”he said, painting a picture of schools attacked, destroyed – or used for military purposes – and of children exposed to violence, exploitation and even recruitment to combat are – simply because they want to study.
The secretary general quoted the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack.
He revealed that between 2015 and 2020 there were over 13,000 reports of strikes worldwide registered in education or the military use of educational institutions.
“And this threat is not diminishing as the terrible events in Afghanistan are” shows us so clearly, ” he said.
Guterres recalled that these were not numbers on a page, but thousands of individual lives and individual futures.
“The loss is incalculable. “He explained.
The UN urged all countries that had not yet done so to support the Safe Schools Declaration – an intergovernmental political commitment to protect students, teachers, schools and universities from Worst effects of armed conflict.
The declaration has so far been approved by 111 states and outlines concrete steps for governments to p protect schools and learning.
“We call on the member states to to go beyond their obligations under international law and to introduce national guidelines and laws to protect schools and learners, ”said the UN chief he made attacks on schools in every country and every jurisdiction in the world “unacceptable and punished”.
The UN chief called for more global support for the UN Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) and UN Kinderhilfsw Erk (UNICEF) who work “around the clock” to protect education, students, teachers and schools in some of the most dangerous places in the world.
“Although great strides have been made in recent years, More needs to be done to protect the right to education for all, “he said.