At the invitation of Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser of Qatar, UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education, Her Royal Highness the Princess of Hanover, in her capacity as Goodwill Ambassador for the Education of Girls and Women, attended the 3rd International Day to Protect Education from Attack, held at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris on Friday 9 September 2022. The day is intended to affirm the importance of acting to protect the right to education from the effects of conflict, violence, and destruction.
In 2020 and 2021, attacks on schools increased by more than a third compared with 2019. The situation is currently being exacerbated by new conflicts, making engagement on all these issues all the more crucial.
A high-level panel therefore convened to discuss the issue of the ever-increasing threat to education, with the following participants in attendance:
- H.R.H. Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg;
- Ms Catherine Russell, Executive Director of UNICEF;
- Ms Stefania Giannini, UNESCO, Assistant Director-General for Education;
- Ms Yalda Hakim, Journalist;
- Ms Rosario Diaz Garavito, Youth Advisory Board member and CEO of The Millennials Movement.
In the Panel’s closing remarks, Ms Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, highlighted the extensive work done by AMADE (World Association of Children's Friends) to defend children’s rights, and paid special tribute to its “Civil Status for All” programme. This programme aims to register every child’s civil status with the relevant authorities, to enable them to be recognised as a subject as of right, to enjoy a legal personality, and to be guaranteed the protection of their civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights.
After discussing their commitment to education with both H.R.H. the Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg and the former Lebanese education minister Ms Bahia Hariri, both of whom are also UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors, during the morning H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover met with the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Audrey Azoulay, the President of Ghana, H.E. Mr Nana-Akufo-Addo, and the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms Virginia Gamba. She also spoke with H.H. Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser.
(For more information about the International Day to Protect Education from Attack: https://en.unesco.org/news/international-day-protect-education-attack-2022-1)