Irina Bokova joins Sheikha Moza in calling for greater protection of education in conflict
On 21 September, International Day of Peace, the Director-General participated in the High Level Meeting on "The Legal Protection of Education during Insecurity and Conflict," organised by Education Above All and chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser of Qatar, UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education.
The meeting brought together high level representatives of governments, UN bodies, international NGOs and think tanks on the occasion of the launch of the Education Above All's new publication, "The Protection of Education during Insecurity and Armed Conflict." Participants included Ms Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor, the International Criminal Court and Mr Ivan Simonovic, Assistant Secretary-General, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Her Highness Sheikha Moza introduced the new publication, which examines the intersection between international human rights law, humanitarian and criminal law with respect to violations of the right to education. She underlined the need to strengthen the fundamental right to quality education in all situations, especially in conflict situations.
Irina Bokova paid tribute to the leading global advocacy of Her Highness Sheikha Moza in putting this issue on the international political agenda. She underlined the devastating impact of conflicts on the right to education and its quality -- drawing attention to the conclusions of UNESCO's groundbreaking 2011 Global Monitoring Report on Education for All on this hidden crisis.
The Director-General highlighted UNESCO's will to support the implementation of milestone UN Security Council Resolution 1998 through technical guidelines. She noted also the importance of peace and human rights education, underlining that this stands at the heart of the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon's Education First initiative, to be launched on 26 September, where UNESCO is playing a leading role.