Education for Peace & Security: UN Day Statement by Education Cannot Wait Director Yasmine Sherif
As the world marks United Nations Day, let us remember why the United Nations was created and the spirit of its founders. In 1945 and the ensuing years, there was optimism, hope and determination to achieve peace, security and human rights for all.
Since its formation in 1945, the United Nations has stood as a universal symbol of hope and humanity. The UN Charter encompasses our vision for sustainable development, respect for human rights, and maintenance of peace and security.
It all starts with education. Education is the very foundation. Without education – especially for those suffering in wars, climate disasters and as forcibly displaced – how can we ever achieve the vision of the United Nations? It is logically and humanely impossible.
Today, 77 years after the proclamation of the UN Charter, the world is suffering from unprecedented insecurity, new, ongoing and devastating armed conflicts and its largest-ever displacement movements. The price is being paid by 222 million children and adolescents surviving in these brutal contexts who cannot access a continued and inclusive quality education.
In the senseless war in Ukraine, we see first-hand deliberate attacks on schools and other civilian targets. All attacks on schools and schoolchildren contravene the UN Charter, International Humanitarian Law and the Safe Schools Declaration. From the Sahel and the Middle East to Latin America and Afghanistan, we see our colleagues in UN agencies and civil society working tirelessly with host-governments to manage the constantly deteriorating situation, contain the chaos and mitigate the human suffering. They steadfastly hang on to the spirit of the founders of the United Nations.
We must all be inspired by their example. Only then can we achieve the vision of the United Nations, its Charter and human rights conventions.
By delivering education to every child and adolescent left furthest behind in these emergencies and protracted crises, we can close the gap between the powerful vision of the United Nations and the cruel realities on the ground. By working together through joint programming for collective outcomes we can achieve learning outcomes. By achieving the potential of every young person in crises, we stand a better chance of achieving the ideals and principles of the UN Charter. By taking action, we can leave a legacy behind of making the vision of the UN come true.
Now is our time to invest in humanity and finance education in emergencies and protracted crises, captured by ECW’s global 222 Million Dreams✨📚 campaign.
We call on donors, Member States, private sector companies and high-net-worth individuals to be the change-makers who can make the ideals and principles of the United Nations a reality for the young generation who represent hope and will become future world leaders. By making substantial funding contributions to Education Cannot Wait – the United Nations Global Fund for Education in Emergencies and Protracted Crisis – we can empower our colleagues and the aid community to work together in urgently delivering quality education to 222 million crisis-affected, yet resilient, children and youth.
At the ECW High-Level Financing Conference, which will be convened on16-17 February 2023 in Geneva, we can take a bold and principled stand to make a difference. Hosted by the Government of Switzerland and ECW – and co-convened by Germany, Niger, Norway and South Sudan – this is our chance to make good on 222 Million Dreams✨📚 for an education. Every one of these young people share a dream to serve their society, their country and the world. Just like the UN founders once did.
Let us not lose that opportunity. Let us not lose their potential. Let’s not lose our chance to revive humanity and keep alive the vision of the United Nations.