I would like to thank Japan in particular for taking the initiative of this very timely event that Italy is proud to co-sponsor together with Switzerland, UNICEF and UNESCO and in collaboration with other distinguished partners for organizing today’s meeting. I would also like to thank the other partners and briefers for sharing their experiences and points of view on the centrality of inclusive education for children and young people in areas of protracted crises.
The protection of education in armed conflicts and crisis-affected settings is an outstanding priority for Italy. In emergency settings as much as in fragile and conflict-affected areas, we prioritize providing support for girls’ education. The quality and inclusivity of education and teachers’ preparation are important objectives for Italy as well. We adhere to the Declaration on Safe Schools approved in 2015 to protect students, school staff and educational infrastructure in times of war. We believe it is essential to continue to raise the attention of the international community on this topic in all the international fora.
As we heard today from the panelists, we are living in a dire humanitarian crisis and children, together with their parents, are asked to leave their countries abandoning education. We have an obligation to stop the risks faced by children and teenagers in crisis-affected situations and we should remember that those not in school face higher risks of rape, homicide, prostitution, and other dangerous, frequently illegal, activities.
Thank you very much.