Delegations from 80 States, and experts from 35 organizations from the United Nations, and civil society from around the world came together for three days to build knowledge and understanding regarding attacks on education and military use of schools; share good practice in protecting education in armed conflict; and promote more effective implementation of the Safe Schools Declaration.
Participants discussed challenges and good practices related to the gendered impact of attacks on education, and monitoring, reporting and accountability for attacks. GCPEA highlighted its research in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo documenting the consequences of attacks on education for female students and teachers. GCPEA also discussed existing systems and key challenges to data collection, as well as ways that GCPEA is working to strengthen monitoring and reporting on attacks on education and recommendations for other actors.
Spain announced the launch of a technical cooperation and training program in 2020 that will focus on the application of the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict and their integration into regulatory and operational frameworks. Norway announced that, in 2020, it will establish a network of states to facilitate peer-to-peer exchange in implementing the Safe Schools Declaration.
The conference featured high-level participation, notably by Queen Letizia of Spain; Mr. Josep Borrell, former Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union, and Cooperation of Spain; Ms. Marianne Hagen, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway; Mr. Carlos Foradori, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the United Nations, and other International Organizations in Geneva. Speakers included Ms. Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director; Ms. Virginia Gamba, UN Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict; Ms. Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, and Ms. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, former Save the Children International CEO.