Nigeria, others to host 4th International Conference on Safe School Declaration

By Rosemary Ogbonnaya

Nigerian government has said all is set to host the Fourth International Conference on Safe School Declaration.

The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu who said this in Abuja on Monday disclosed that the Conference seeks to galvanise action to protect education from attack.

Newsdiaryonline gathered that the Fourth International Conference on the Safe Schools Declaration will be
hosted by Nigeria, Argentina, Norway, Spain, the African Union Commission, and GCPEA from 25th to 27th October, 2021, in Abuja.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Arc. Sonny Echono, the Minister explained that
the Safe Schools Declaration,SSD, is an inter-governmental political
commitment by states to better protect schools and universities, their students
and staff, during armed conflict; implement concrete measures to deter security forces from use of schools: make Governments commit to strengthened monitoring and reporting of attacks on education: investigate and prosecute perpetrators of attacks on education and provide assistance to victims.

The Declaration was drafted through a consultative process led by Norway and
Argentina and was opened for endorsement at an international conference held in
Oslo, Norway, in May 2015.

Adamu said the Abuja Conference is the Fourth International Conference on the Safe
Schools Declaration, and first to be held on the African continent, explaining that the previous
conferences (1st, 2nd & 3rd conferences) were held in 2015, 2017 and 2019 in Oslo Norway, Buenos Aires Argentina and Palma de Mallorca, Spain respectively.

According to him, the Conference will build on previous conferences by galvanizing support for the Safe Schools Declaration,SSD, and monitoring United Nations member states’ progress in carrying out the Declaration’s commitments to better protect learners and learning institutions.

It will also serve to maintain and amplify momentum of the SSD and its commitment to make safe education for all a reality
Nigeria is co-hosting the Conference, with the African Union Commission,AUC, the governments of Argentina, Norway, and Spain, as well as the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, GCPEA.

Speaking further, he said the
aim of the Conference is to strengthen implementation of the Declaration by: Sharing good practice in implementing key commitments in the Declaration;
to inspire other states to adapt the practice within their own context:
• Forging global cooperation and strengthening coordination, in the
protection of education and deterring military use of schools and universities by bringing together Education, Defence, and Foreign Affairs Ministries, as well as multilateral and civil society organizations to discuss
prevention and response measures, and identifying actions which governments can take to better achieve accountability for attacks on education and justice for the victims by building and strengthening international and national legal mechanisms.

The theme of the Conference according to the Minister, is “Ensuring Safe Education for All: From
Commitment to Practice”.