(December 4, 2018 – New York) Bolivia has become the 82nd country to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration, an inter-governmental commitment to better protect students, teachers, schools, and universities during armed conflict, said the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack today.
Bolivia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Verónica Cordova Soria, made the announcement at the United Nations Security Council on 19 November, saying the endorsement reflects Bolivia’s “commitment to, and defense of, the right to education.” Cordova Soria described education as the “only intangible tool” that might help children affected by armed conflict “to escape situations of oppressive violence,” and thus stressed that education is the “key to our future, and the future of all children.”
Bolivia is the ninth of the UN Security Council’s current 15 members to have endorsed the Declaration. Eighty-two countries have now joined the Declaration, including 15 Organization of American States members. Only four countries remain before South America could become the first continent to have universal endorsement of the Safe Schools Declaration: Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela.
“By announcing its endorsement at the UN Security Council, Bolivia is helping bring important global attention to the protective role that safer schools can provide children during times of war,” said Diya Nijhowne, GCPEA director. “We look forward to a future in which all members of the world’s highest body for peace and security commit to support the Safe Schools Declaration goals of protecting students, teachers, schools, and universities from attack.”
In May 2019, Spain will host the Third International Safe Schools Conference, which will bring together countries from around the world to share good practices in protecting education in conflict and review their implementation of the Declaration’s commitments.