International Day to Protect Education from Attack

The Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and UNESCO signed a memorandum of understanding on joint cooperation in the protection and continuation of education in armed conflict today. The agreement, signed in the margins of the commemoration of the International Day to Protect Education from Attack, emphasizes specifically the importance of education as part of reintegration programmes for children formerly associated with armed forces or groups and the centrality of prevention. The agreement, furthermore, complies with UN Security Council resolutions 2427 (2018) and 2601 (2021) and assists towards their operationalization.

“The right to education is for all children, including those affected by conflict. This collaboration with UNESCO will enable the development of innovative projects benefitting children living in conflict areas by building on the technical expertise of both offices,” said the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Virginia Gamba.

Specific collaborative projects will be established as part of this agreement such as the creation of accelerated education curricula for children and youth benefiting from reintegration support, the training of teachers, and the provision of capacity-building on the monitoring and reporting of attacks against schools in situations of concern, among others.

Furthermore, in line with the UN Security Council resolution 2427 (2018) on prevention, and 2601 (2021) exclusively dedicated to the protection of education, this collaboration should help to better link peace, security, and education through prevention activities, to strengthen prevention mechanisms, and develop tools to better implement UN Security Council resolution 2601 in terms of monitoring attacks on education.

“The number of attacks on schools, students, and educational personnel as well as the military use of schools continues to rise, with a devastating impact on children, especially girls. Ensuring that all children released from armed forces or groups have access to long-term, gender- and age-sensitive reintegration support, including education, is fundamental to their recovery, but also to the sustainable peace and development of their societies,” said Virginia Gamba. “We look forward to working with UNESCO on such a fundamental issue.”

The SRSG CAAC Office’s Analysis and Outreach Hub in Doha, Qatar, will implement the MoU, in collaboration with UNESCO including its regional office in Doha, and thanks to the support of the Qatar Fund for Development. This year’s International Day to Protect Education from Attack precedes a series of upcoming initiatives linked to the UN’s Transforming Education Summit later in September convened by the UN Secretary-General and supported by a variety of partners, including the State of Qatar. The Summit features an action track on Education in Crisis Situations that SRSG CAAC’s Office will continue to spotlight and work through with UNESCO and partners starting with the UN General Assembly 77th Session’s high-level segment.

The International Day to Protect Education From Attack, taking place every year on 9 September, was decided upon by the General Assembly in 2020 at the initiative of Her Highness Sheikha Moza of Qatar, Chairperson of Education Above All and UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate.


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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