As delivered by H.E. Ms Nazhat Shameem Khan, the ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Fiji to the UN Geneva, on behalf of Group of Endorsing States of the Safe Schools Declaration on March 5 2019.
- I take the floor on behalf of a group of 71 states of the Safe Schools Declaration.
- The Safe Schools Declaration is an intergovernmental political commitment aimed at protecting and continuing education during armed conflict. This includes a pledge to use the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use.
- Since the Declaration was adopted in Oslo in 2015, eighty-four States have endorsed the Declaration.
- Education is not only a human right; it is also an essential protection mechanism for children living in conflict. Education helps children reach their potential and contributes to building stronger, more resilient communities. Continued access to safe education can help protect children and youth from the impact of armed conflict. Post-conflict reconstruction and development can take place with greater speed when schools and universities have been spared and remained functional throughout a conflict.
- In May this year, Spain will host the Third International Conference on the Safe Schools Declaration. It will allow states, international organizations and civil society to share experience, raise awareness and exchange expertise in an effort to find practical solutions to protecting education. We look forward to the special attention that the Conference will put to how girls, women, boys, and men are differently affected by attacks on education and/or military use of schools and universities, and how to respond to their specific needs.
- We take note of the annual report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Virginia Gamba, and wish to convey our profound concern for the on-going violations against children in conflict, in particular, attacks and threats of attacks on school and universities as well as military use of educational infrastructure, which may leave children vulnerable.
- We welcome the repeated calls by the SRGS to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration, which echoes earlier calls by the Secretary General. We would like to express our appreciation for Ms. Gamba’s support for the Safe Schools Declaration.
- We reiterate our call to all states to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration. We also invite all states to benefit from the exchange of positive experiences of implementation by participating in the Third Conference on Safe Schools taking place in Palma, Spain 27 – 29 May.
 Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, State of Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Yemen.