28.01.2019 - UNESCO Office in Beirut

Message from Dr. Hamed Al Hammami, Director of UNESCO Beirut, on the occasion of International Day of Education


UNESCO Calls for Promoting Quality Education during Times of Emergencies


Education in Emergencies protects millions of vulnerable children living in conflict-affected areas in the Arab Region

Over the past decade, conflict has affected many countries and millions of people in the region, threatening development gains and progress across all sectors. This has created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, with massive internal and cross-border forced migration. The magnitude of people on the move has threatened a whole generation, overwhelmed host communities, straining already limited resources and increasing social tensions. Consequently, millions of children and youth in the region are missing out on education and great challenges remain to ensure that all children and youth obtain quality education and learning opportunities.

Today on the occasion of the UN Education Day, we reiterate our commitment to fulfill the education 2030 agenda which cannot be achieved without meeting the needs of the most vulnerable populations in times of crisis.

Our message is clear: we cannot afford to let these children and youth miss out on education. Inclusive Education is their right, their hope and their future.

We invite our partners to join our efforts to ensure that vulnerable and refugees are integrated into national education systems, and that these systems in turn, have the capacity and tools to make diversity an asset, combat prejudice and nurture all talents. To empower children and youth with values, knowledge and skills for life and work, to support teachers and enhance the resilience of education systems. To promote transformative education, by strengthening global citizenship education, fostering a sense of solidarity, enhancing the civic engagement of youth, and eradicating illiteracy through formal and non-formal education and training. Thus equipping our children and youth with key skills to shape a more peaceful future. Equally important is to abolish gender barriers to education and ensure that learning content and methods are free from gender biases.

Working with Member States to improve systems, policies and legal frameworks to handle shocks and build system resilience will remain our top priority.

Education is a human right, vital for recovery, reconciliation and peace.

Today, only one third of the funding gap for refugee education has been filled. Investing in education at all levels in emergency settings, as well as post-crisis situations, is a development and security imperative for stability and lasting peace in the region, one that UNESCO is determined to take forward. Consequently, we need more than ever genuine cooperation on this issue at all levels, between governments, with civil society and regional and international institutions.

Let’s all act together towards investing in education from the youngest age and throughout life, and in all circumstances to fulfill our promises and avoid a lost generation.

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