Group of Endorsing States of the Safe Schools Declaration

Annual day discussion on protecting the rights of the child in humanitarian situations.

As delivered by Norway on behalf of Argentina, Armenia,  Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cote d´Ivoire, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, Palestine, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Sierra Leone, Slovak Republic, Spain, Uruguay, Zambia.


  1. I take the floor on behalf of a group of Endorsing States of the Safe Schools

  2. The Safe Schools Declaration is an intergovernmental political commitment aimed at protecting education during armed conflict. This includes a pledge to use the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use.

  3. Since the First Conference on Safe Schools in Oslo in 2015, seventy-three States have endorsed the Declaration. Last year, at the Buenos Aires Conference on Safe Schools, we came together to share experience of implementing the Declaration so as to better protect education in conflict.

  4. We reiterate that education is fundamental to development and to the full enjoyment of human rights and freedoms, and that continued access to safe education can help protect children and youth from the impacts of armed conflict.

  5. We take note of the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on protecting the rights of children in humanitarian settings, and welcome the attention he gives to the significant challenge posed by the use of schools for military purposes.

  6. The report outlines how using a school for military purposes can disrupt education and thus deny children their right to education, risk turning the school into a military objective, and increase the risk of child recruitment and sexual abuse or exploitation.

  7. We welcome the recommendation of the High Commissioner for Human Rights that all States should endorse the Safe Schools Declaration, which echoes the call of Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, and his Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Virginia Gamba.

  8. On this special occasion, we reiterate the call to all States to endorse the Declaration and benefit from the exchange of helpful experiences and good practices of implementation.