Safe Schools Declaration’s 3rd Anniversary & Germany 75th state to endorse

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Photo: Permanent Mission of Norway/Maren Evensen

Today, Norway and Argentina organised a celebration to mark the third anniversary of the Safe Schools Declaration. During the celebration, the German Chargé d’Affaires made a welcome surprise announcement that Germany is endorsing the Declaration.

The Safe Schools Declaration is an intergovernmental political commitment in support of the protection and continuation of education in armed conflicts. The protection of schools and universities is a key element of Norway’s humanitarian work as well as in our development cooperation. Norway has played a leading role in promoting the Safe Schools Declaration. States that endorse the Declaration pledge to use the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use.

Today, Norway and Argentina led the celebrations of the third anniversary of the Safe Schools Declaration. The German Chargé d’Affaires Dr Ulrich Seidenberger made a surprise entrance and announced that Germany has endorsed the Declaration. Germany is the 75th state to join, after the UK endorsed the Declaration last month – what a wonderful birthday present! A list of all endorsing states can be found here.

During the celebration, the Ambassadors of Norway and Argentina, HE Hans Brattskar and HE Carlos Foradori, reiterated their countries’ support of the Declaration and continued efforts to promote quality education for all.

The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) was also present during the celebration. GCPEA has recently published a new report, “Education under Attack 2018”, which found that violence directed at students, educators and their institutions have increased worldwide since their last report from 2014.

The Safe Schools Declaration was developed through consultations with states in a process led by Norway and Argentina in Geneva in early 2015, and was opened for endorsement at International Conference on Safe Schools in Oslo 28 – 29 May 2015. In March 2017, Argentina hosted the Second International Conference on Safe Schools in Buenos Aires. Last month, Spain announced that they will host the Third Conference on Safe Schools next year. Norway remains committed to the Safe Schools Declaration and its important contribution to setting a norm against military use of schools and universities.