Qatar's Permanent Representative to UN Participates in Virtual Meeting on Protecting Children in Armed Conflict, Safe Schools Declaration

New York – Information Office - October 13

HE the State of Qatar's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani participated in the virtual meeting organized by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation with the Italian Institute for International Political Studies, under the title 'Protecting Children in Armed Conflict and the Safe Schools Declaration.'

HE stressed that protecting education during conflicts and crises and ensuring that all children receive a quality education is a very important issue for the State of Qatar. HE referred to resolution 74/275 submitted by the State of Qatar and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on May 28, 2020, which considered the 9th of September of each year to be an international Day to Protect Education from Attack. That day was achieved due to the efforts of Chairperson of Education Above All Foundation Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.

This decision came 10 years after the General Assembly adopted the historic resolution 64/290, submitted by the State of Qatar under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, which called on Member States to guarantee the right to education for the affected population in all stages of emergency situations, HE said.

Despite international efforts, attacks on education continue and there is no accountability for the perpetrators, HE added. She drew attention to the importance of the International Day that calls for education in the field of protection from attack. "It serves as a reminder of the protection of schools as safe spaces for children and the need to prioritize access to education for all children, especially those in vulnerable situations," she said.

It is not just another day on the UN calendar, but a call for world leaders to put the protection of education at the top of the global agenda, HE said, emphasizing the importance of protecting and materializing education through action on the ground and through effective mechanisms that would put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of such attacks, so that the millions of children deprived of education in conflict situations can look forward to achieving that goal towards a better future.

HE Sheikha Alya Al-Thani referred to the obstacles that COVID-19 pandemic has posed to the fragile progress being made to protect education and pointed to 'Protecting Education in Insecurity and Conflict' program introduced by Education Above All over a decade ago, where Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser called for action at many high-level meetings as well as at the UN Security Council.

HE the Ambassador renewed Qatar's call for greater accountability for the man-made and preventable causes of interference with the right to education, such as attacks on education, adding that the State of Qatar is a key member of the coalition that led to the Declaration of Safe Schools. The State of Qatar has always drawn attention to the problem of enforcement of decisions, and the fact that perpetrators of attacks on education flee without the slightest punishment, HE said.

The State of Qatar has long recognized the vital role that reliable data plays in monitoring and responding to attacks on education around the world. Education Above All is at the forefront of efforts to improve access to data on education in emergencies. The data help to highlight and understand how attacks against education in times of conflict and insecurity deny children and their right to education, HE said.

HE Sheikha Alya Al-Thani hailed Education Above All Foundation's support for the development of humanitarian technology to record data on attacks on schools, teachers and students, and violations of education-related laws in order to hold perpetrators of attacks accountable.

The Global Data Service on Attacks on Education is a hub for collecting, sorting, analyzing, storing and disseminating information on attacks on education for policy makers, the United Nations, NGOs and other stakeholders, she said.

At the end, Her Excellency stressed that these efforts reflect the belief of the State of Qatar that through teamwork it is possible to ensure that children everywhere can grow up in safety, health and education so that they can help build a safe and sustainable future for themselves, their families and their communities.