Belgium

Protecting Education from Attack: A Call for Improving Data Monitoring and Policy Response

Virtual side event to the ECOSOC High-Level Political Forum

The event will be entirely virtual, with simultaneous translation provided in English and French. Please register here, by Tuesday, 5 July, to participate. The event will also be livestreamed on UN Web TV.

Background

Attacks on education have harrowing effects, ranging from tragic deaths on account of damage to physical infrastructure, psychological injuries and threats that lead to school disruption and loss of learning over time. Long recognized by the international community in Article 26 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Right to Education obliges Member States to ensure its protection, respect, and fulfilment for all. In contexts of armed conflict, this inalienable human right has been further reiterated and reinforced by international humanitarian law and other prominent soft law mechanisms and tools, such as the Safe Schools Declaration and its guidelines, which aim to protect schools from military use. However, as it stands, the right to education is denied for many conflict-affected children and other vulnerable populations who fall victim to attacks on education. To this end, much needs to be done to ensure stronger evidence-based policies and conducive environments at the national level for the effective implementation of international legal frameworks.

Objectives

Organized in the margins of the ECOSOC High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), the virtual side-event will underscore the need for Member States to ensure full protection of the right to education in times of armed conflict, and will particularly aim to enhance government capacities to formulate and implement evidence-based policies on attacks on education within national data systems to better guide their actions towards realizing SDG 4. More particularly, this virtual event will bring together UN Member States, UN agencies and education stakeholders to highlight key challenges and promising practices around the following objectives:

  • ┬áInform key stakeholders on data, policy measures and tools needed to strengthen national capacities in order to effectively review, respond, prevent, and mitigate occurrences of attacks on education and military use of schools to better deliver and accelerate progress towards SDG 4.
  • Identify linkages for Member States to strengthen national action on data collection and analysis on attacks on education as enhanced data collection and management will allow for better-informed robust policies to prevent, mitigate and respond to attacks on education and ensure educational continuity for all during times of peace and war.
  • Promote greater quality and institutionalization of attacks on education data into national education systems to foster greater national ownership and increased harmonization and integration into education sector policies and plans. This will further enable the inclusion of the most vulnerable populations in crisis contexts while bridging the humanitarian-development divide in delivering education for all.
  • Secure further introduction of tools especially designed to assist refugees and vulnerable migrants, in particular Qualifications Passport for Refugees as a recognition tool particularly designed for these individuals.
  • Identify key recommendations on how to engage with international actors and mechanisms and optimize national actions in line with ongoing preparations for the Transforming Education Summit (TES), which aims to strengthen and accelerate the implementation of existing multilateral agreements, particularly the 2030 Agenda framework, and galvanize action towards meeting SDG4 goals at the national and global levels.

Organizers

This virtual event is co-organized by Belgium, Malta, Norway, the State of Qatar, Gabon, UNESCO and OSRSG-CAAC.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@yahoo.com or bknotts@uua.org.

Financing for Universal and Crisis-Responsive Social Protection and Decent Work: Proposals of 2021 UN Inter-Agency Working Group

Join the NGO Committee on Financing for Development on Tuesday, April 26, from 8 – 9:30am EST for an official side event of the 2022 ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum on Financing for Universal and Crisis-Responsive Social Protection and Decent Work: Proposals of 2021 UN Inter-Agency Working Group

Speakers:

  • H.E. Mr. Phillippe Kridelka, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations
  • Mr. Helmut Schwarzner, Senior Social Security Specialist for the Americas, Social Protection Department, ILO Geneva
  • Mr. David Stewart, Chief of Child Strategy and Social Protection, UNICEF
  • Dr. Santosh Mehrotra, Research Fellow, IZA Institute of Labor Economics, Bonn, Germany
  • Ms. Tikhala Itaye, Director, Global Movement Building, Women in Global Health

Moderator: Dr. Barry Herman, Member Advisory Board, Social Justice in Global Development

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYsfuqqrjwiHtLVutntuRo0xgsa9K_vEKxP

Co-sponsors: Vivat International, Women First International Fund, Salesian Missions, International Labour Organization, World Vision, Social Justice in Global Development

Background: Social protection refers to assuring a basic income floor and access to basic healthcare throughout the life cycle. It should be provided universally to all people in need, but that is far from current practice. While decent jobs, including self-employment, are mainly in the private economy, meeting the qualifications for most jobs usually requires education and good health, which are primarily public service functions. Thus, programs to promote social protection and decent jobs entail adequate, effective, and fair national systems of taxation, complemented by international assistance, often in the form of technical assistance but also sometimes in aid-financed budget support, as for low-income countries.

The experience of the pandemic laid bare inadequate systems to deliver cash transfers to compensate for the economic costs of the crisis and inadequate public health systems to deliver vaccines, tests, and protective equipment, along with the very limited capacity, especially in developing countries, to maintain employment during the crisis-induced economic contraction. The pandemic experience requires us to think about preparing better “shock responsive” social protection and health systems and stronger counter-cyclical policies. Preparation, in turn, requires consideration of ways to mobilize the necessary domestic and international financial resources on an ongoing basis and with the capacity to meet the higher expenditure needs at times of crisis.

While the inter-agency report concluded with 21 separate proposals, speakers in the side event will be asked to discuss one or more of the proposals. There is no expectation that all 21 proposals would be covered, nor is that necessary. What is necessary is to bring the attention of the FfD Follow-up Forum for consideration by policymakers the work of the 16 cooperating agencies in the task force and the civil society, labor, employer, and youth stakeholders that were consulted in preparing the report.

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Financing for Development is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations.