UAE’s contribution to kids’ education exemplary - GulfToday

UAE’s contribution to kids’ education exemplary


Picture used for illustrative purpose only.

Perhaps no other sphere needs as much focus for a child’s development as education. Education moulds a child’s personality and grooms him so that he experiences a better, brighter future.

Nowhere is this so badly needed as in conflict zones. Nearly one in four children growing up in conflict areas are missing out on education, the UN children’s agency Unicef said not long ago.

An estimated 24 million children of school-going age are out of school in countries affected by conflict, according to the agency’s research.

When children are not in school, they are in an extremely vulnerable position. They face problems like abuse and exploitation.

Add the woes of the coronavirus pandemic and their condition becomes all the more pitiful.

This is where the UAE’s generous gesture features. The UAE reiterates its continued commitment to upholding the rights of children around the world, particularly those in conflict situations. It does this by protecting schools and preventing grave violations, and protecting the right to education and the need to provide opportunities for fulfilment and growth to the most vulnerable.

In a statement to the UN Security Council for its Open Debate on children and armed conflict: attacks against schools as a grave violation of children’s rights, the UAE has renewed its commitment to implementing Security Council resolutions aimed at mitigating the impact of armed conflict on children.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role that schools and teachers play around the world, but this is even more important for children living in conflict situations,” the UAE said. “Schools are not only civilian objects that should be protected under international humanitarian law. They are also critical for communities torn apart by conflict, and they are the places where children can look towards the future with the hope of learning skills and pursuing new opportunities.”

The UN Security Council on Thursday urged warring parties in all conflicts to immediately stop attacking schools and teachers and reaffirmed Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call for global ceasefires to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

A presidential statement approved by all 15 council members expressed “grave concern about the significant increase of attacks on schools in recent years and the resulting alarming number of children denied access to quality education.”

The UAE voices deep concern and alarm over grave violations against children and the high number of verified attacks against schools. Schools continue to be targeted, putting the lives of teachers and students at risk. Terrorist and non-state armed groups often attack schools and teachers to instill fear in the population, spread their extremist ideology, disrupt the education system, forcibly recruit children, prevent the teaching of critical concepts such as tolerance and co-existence, and undermine the education of girls. To this end, the UAE stated that perpetrators of such grave violations should be held accountable.

In coordination with other partners of the Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen, the UAE has taken concrete measures to support the implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions. This also includes the establishment of a Child Protection Unit and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. Furthermore, the UAE urged UN Member States to recommit to the implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

The UAE stated that protecting education as a critical lever to uplift entire communities is a longstanding priority for the UAE. In this regard, the UAE noted that since 2011, the UAE has donated $1.55 billion in support of education projects globally and has also worked with Unicef and other partners to support the education of 20 million children in 59 countries since 2017, including the rebuilding of 16 schools in Mosul and Baghdad in 2019 alone.

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