Call for global movement to protect education
November 05 2015 09:18 PM

Education Above All Foundation held a session on “Education Violence and Conflict – from Daunting Challenge to Effective Response” on Thursday.

A session at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) 2015 on Thursday highlighted the need for a multi-stakeholder effort to protect education and the most vulnerable citizens of the world from various attacks and conflicts using new and innovative actions.

“The way conflicts are being waged has no sense of humanity, no limits, and no boundaries,” said Graça Machel, founder of the Graça Machel Trust and a panelist of Education Above All Foundation’s “Education Violence and Conflict – from Daunting Challenge to Effective Response” plenary session.

She was joined by Thomas Gass, UN assistant secretary-general, Policy Coordinator and Inter-Agency Affairs, Department of Economic and Social Affairs at UN; Dr Kevin Watkins, executive director of the Overseas Development Institute; Jean-Paul Laborde, assistant secretary-general, executive director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, UN; and Elizabeth Decrey Warner, executive president, Geneva Call.

Machel stressed the need to build a movement which at every level shows very strong outrage at attacks of all kinds on education.

The discussion explored issues taking place in countries around the world where educational institutions, educators and students are targets of conflicts, and violence.

Education Above All CEO Marcio Barbosa said education is not under attack in a small set of countries in the Middle East and Africa contrary to popular belief.

He noted that from 2009 to 2012, more than 30 countries around the world experienced attacks on education.

“Wherever conflict, violence and insecurity undermines access to, or delivery of, education, populations become vulnerable. We need two things – accountability for those who carry out attacks on education and target students and educators, and to put an end to impunity.”

“We will continue devoting efforts to this timely and important matter, working towards answers that advance the cause of quality education for everyone, everywhere with no one left behind,” he added.

The discussion, moderated by news presenter and journalist Mishal Husain, centered on the fact that laws and resolutions to protect education are in place, but compliance is lacking.

The recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals provides the objective - education for all, with a framework for action under development.

Panelists noted that without addressing the root causes of education insecurity, such as attacks, society will not be successful in its pursuit of the interlinked development goals.

The panel also agreed to work for a concerted global movement among governments, multilateral institutions, NGOs and civil society to hold accountable those who attack education and to enforce existing laws that serve to protect educational institutions, educators and students.

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