HH Sheikha Moza hosts meeting to recognize passing of UN resolution to protect education in emergency situations

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HH Sheikha Moza hosts meeting to recognize passing of UN resolution to protect education in emergency situations

New York, United States of America, Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser hosted a meeting this morning at the Qatar Mission in New York to recognise the passing of a recent UN resolution protecting the right to education in emergency situations and to take the next steps of identifying gaps and challenges which still remain.

The resolution, which was introduced by Qatar and passed in July this year by the UN General Assembly, was the result of the work of a six original sponsoring countries – Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Norway and Qatar - as well as a number of UN agencies and NGOs.  A total of 38 countries became co-sponsors, showing broad support of the resolution.

Her Highness acknowledged the efforts and tenacity of those organisations represented at the meeting but urged continued attention to the issue of the protection of education in times of conflict and insecurity which she
‘Despite its significance, the resolution is only a first step to a fuller provision of education during emergencies. We must work together to build upon the achievements of the resolution, she said.

Speaking next, Mrs Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, praised Qatar’s involvement in such a critical resolution and in particular the personal involvement of Her Highness.

‘Her Highness brings a lot of energy, commitment and passion to this issue of the protection of education. She has energized all of us’.

The recently appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, Mr Kishore Singh also spoke at the meeting. This was his first official event in his new role and he promised to listen carefully to the views and experiences of all the experts present in order to provide a detailed report to the 66th session of the UN on the gaps and challenges faced in ensuring education in emergency situations.

Mr Singh also congratulated Her Highness on the establishment of the Qatar-based international NGO, Education Above All (EAA).

‘EAA will go a long way in showing us new direction and pathways in protecting the rights of education and to end impunity for attacks against education.

This resolution – General Assembly Resolution A/64/L58, ‘The Right to Education in Emergency Situations’, is especially significant in that it represents the acceptance of the international community of the principle that education must be a component of all humanitarian response in conflicts and natural disasters.