Spain praises at the UN the Declaration of Safe Schools on its fifth anniversary

The Spanish government positively appreciated on Thursday the progress made since the Declaration on Safe Schools five years ago, in "protecting the most vulnerable in armed conflicts, especially in educational institutions", and renewed its commitment to hold a meeting to delve into the application of its guidelines and its integration into regulatory and operational frameworks.

In a telematic event organized by the United Nations on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of this declaration, promoted by Norway and Argentina and ratified at an international conference held in Oslo in May 2015, the Spanish and Ibero-American Secretary of State for the Spanish Government, Cristina Gallach stressed that this agreement has worked "to save lives and preserve the right to education for all, even in these harsh circumstances, including women and girls."

Gallach transmitted the position of the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya, who was unable to finally participate in the inauguration of the event.

The Secretary of State warned that despite the fact that the number of attacks against educational institutions has decreased, the military use of this type of facilities has increased.

On the other hand, he insisted on the commitment that Spain acquired during the Third International Conference on Safe Schools, held last year in the Spanish city of Mallorca, for the organization of "an active program" focused on applying the guidelines of the declaration.

In this sense, he pointed out that the crisis caused by the pandemic had forced its suspension, but announced that a meeting with this task will be held next December or in January 2021.

In his speech, Gallach also wanted to highlight the importance of the "gender approach" as a "fundamental" question to define the problem and to find solutions.

"The Spanish government is sure that a gender-sensitive approach is key to this and other issues, so we are constantly pushing this agenda forward," said Gallach.

It also emphasized the importance of "fighting impunity" and the need for those responsible for the attacks against schools to answer to justice.

Coinciding with the fifth anniversary of the declaration, which has been ratified so far by 103 countries, the United Nations has reported that since January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2019, attacks against educational centers or their military use were registered. in armed conflicts affecting 37 countries.

The Nigerian ambassador to the UN, Samson Sunday Itegboje, announced during his participation that his country will organize the IV International Conference on Safe Schools next year and took the opportunity to invite all United Nations countries to participate in the event.


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