The Conference was organized by the Government of Argentina with the support of the Government of Norway.
Participants at the conference expressed deep concern over continued attacks on, and military use of, educational facilities, which put children, students, and teachers at risk of harm and disrupt the provision of education in armed conflict. States reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the protection of education from attack to enable the safe continued education of children and youth, no matter where in the world they live, and to protect educational facilities from military use.
The conference reviewed states’ efforts to protect education from attack, taking stock of the implementation of the commitments contained in the Safe Schools Declaration, which include ensuring continued education during armed conflict and applying the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use. The conference contributed to a deeper understanding of the need for greater protection of children, students, teachers and educational facilities during armed conflict and provided an occasion for participants to share examples of good practice at national and international levels, and to discuss opportunities for future cooperation in the implementation of the Declaration.
Delegations from 80 States, the United Nations system, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), other civil society organizations, and academic institutions, participated in the Conference. Norway’s delegation to the Conference was lead by Deputy Foreign Minister Laila Bokhari.
The Second International Conference on Safe Schools built upon the outcomes of the Oslo international Conference on Safe Schools, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway in May 2015, where the Safe Schools Declaration was first opened for endorsement by states.
In the lead-up to the Conference, Slovakia, France, Canada, Armenia, and Malta endorsed the Declaration. Belgium announced its endorsement at the Conference, with Andorra following immediately after and thus becoming the 63nd State to join the Declaration. Participants highlighted that the initiative concerns all states committed to the protection of education, whether they are directly affected by armed conflict or not. States that have not yet endorsed, were encouraged to do so.
Read the Chair’s summary here.