H.H. Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the chair of Education Above All and a UN Sustainable Development Goals advocate, participated in a virtual high-level panel on the International Day to Protect Education from Attack to reaffirm the necessity of holding criminals who attack education accountable and bringing financial justice to victims through financial compensation.
“Protecting Education and Building Sustainable Peace” was the topic of Her Highness’s opening remarks during the virtual session. She stressed the significance of hosting an annual rallying point, especially as the pace of attacks on education has grown by a third by the end of 2020. Despite a worldwide truce throughout the pandemic, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack recorded over 2,400 attacks against education.
“The students and staff who are maimed and killed in these attacks, aren’t collateral damage. They are being deliberately targeted. Aggressors seek not only to destroy the lives but to annihilate the very history of those they attack. When they bomb buildings, smash monuments, and uproot trees that form the traditional heart of societies, attackers strip those societies of their history, distort their present and obliterate their future.” said Her Highness.
“The generations traumatized by their experiences must find a foundation from which to rebuild. Education is that foundation, enabling them to recover from their trauma, live with their wounds, and find hope. That is why education is an alternative to chaos. It is a powerful weapon against cultural annihilation.” Her Highness continued.
It was stressed by Her Highness that when criminals deliberately target “to erase culture and to end any possibility of peace,” they must compensate the victim. “It’s time to urge the international community to request the United Nations Security Council to take action, and bring those who commit atrocities against education, and what it represents, to justice,” she said.
HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs; UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres; President of Niger Mohamed Bazoum; International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan; and International Committee of the Red Cross President Peter Maurer were among those who took part.
Her Highness announced the launch of a new data project by EAA, in partnership with UNESCO and KoboToolbox. The project will support the development and implementation of a public portal for collecting data on attacks on education.