The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday proclaimed Sept. 9 as the International Day to Protect Education from Attack.
President of the Assembly, Amb. Tijani Muhammad-Bande, said in a statement that the proclamation came through Resolution 74/275 adopted by member states under the “silence procedure”.
In the resolution, the member states reaffirmed the right to education for all and the importance of ensuring safe and enabling learning environments in humanitarian emergencies.
They decried growing attacks on educational institutions, their students and staff, in contravention of international humanitarian law.
The resolution strongly condemned such attacks, which it said impede the “full realisation of the right to education, in particular of women and girls”.
It expressed concern about the use of schools for military purposes in contravention of applicable international law.
According to the resolution, military abuse of schools might also affect the safety of children and teachers and the right of the child to education
The document also conveyed the “deep concerns” of member states about “school-related violence against girls, including sexual violence and harassment on the way to and from, and at school”.
Such act “continues to deter girls’ education and, in many cases, the transition to and completion of secondary education”, it stated
The resolution said those risks might influence parents’ decision to allow girls to attend school.
It urged “all parties to armed conflict to fulfil their applicable obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law”.
These include respect for civilians, including students and educational personnel, and civilian objects such as educational institutions.
The document called for efforts to promote safe and protective school environments in humanitarian emergencies.
It urged all Member States, the UN and other international and regional organisations, civil society and all other stakeholders to observe the day.
It invited the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the UN Children’s Fund(UNICEF) to facilitate observance of the day
The cost of all activities that may arise from the implementation of the resolution should be met from voluntary contributions, the resolution stressed.