The first Virtual Summer School on Child Protection in Armed Conflict is concluding tomorrow, but this unique two-week training will hopefully pave the way for further learning opportunities on the children and armed conflict agenda.

This Virtual Summer School served as an important capacity-building tool and provided a comprehensive program to 42 participants selected out of over 300 applications. The training was specifically designed to bring together partners from various professional backgrounds and to strengthen their capacities to support the implementation of the children and armed conflict agenda.

“The children and armed conflict agenda is multidimensional and I am glad that we managed to bring together so many brilliant professionals with different backgrounds from all over the world – at least 24 countries – including from and/or working in countries that are on the children and armed conflict agenda,” said the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba. “We hope that participants will bring the knowledge acquired through this program to their career and that it will support efforts to protect conflict-affected children in more sectors of work.”

This pilot project was developed by the Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict in collaboration and with the generous support of the Government of Malta and the University of Malta.

Dr. Ian Borg, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta, expressed his conviction that the course content and discussions held over the past two weeks will contribute to further the protection and safeguard the interests of children who find themselves in armed conflict. Minister Borg reiterated Malta’s commitment to continue working to ensure that Children and Armed Conflict remains at the forefront of the agenda of the international community.

“This is also why Children and Armed Conflict is a priority file for Malta during its forthcoming two-year term as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, during which period Malta will continue to advocate for a heightened awareness of the needs of children in armed conflict, and to work closely with the Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, and with its international partners, to seek to address these needs,” said Dr. Ian Borg.

Professor Alfred Vella, Rector of the University Malta, stressed that the Virtual Summer School is not only aligned with the work of some of the University’s Faculties, Centres and Institutes, but is also highly resonant with “our commitment for the promotion of equity, diversity, and the protection of human rights, including those of vulnerable and marginalised children and young people.” He augured that the summer school will help promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies, including the safety and protection of children and other vulnerable populations, as enshrined in UN Sustainable Development Goal 16.

Special Representative Gamba added that feedback from participants and lead trainers will contribute to a lesson learned process to explore possible avenues for follow-up activities, including future training opportunities. The recommendations from this process will be shared during a high-level event in 2023.

“The Virtual Summer School will most definitely prepare future experts to convey the voices of innocent girls and boys for better protection from the dramatic impact of armed conflict. It used the latest cutting-edge technology, including exhibition booths, a networking lounge, interactive exercises, and the integration of a ludic approach. Lead trainers and guest speakers were carefully selected based on their diverse backgrounds and ability to play from abstract concepts to concrete success stories or challenges they have experienced in the field in all corners of the world,” said Meryem Mouna, a participant in the VSS working as a Child Protection Officer with MINUSCA in the Central African Republic.

“I would like to thank the lead trainers, guest speakers, and panelists without whom the Virtual Summer School would have not been possible. And a heartfelt thank you to all participants who have taken time out of their busy schedules to apply to and participate in this Virtual Summer School,” concluded Virginia Gamba.


For additional information, please contact:

Fabienne Vinet, Communications Officer, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

+1-212-963-5986 (office) / +1-917-288-5791 (mobile) /

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