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The right to education for Artsakh children at the Global Education Meeting


The special session of the Global Education Meeting entitled “Education in the Post-Pandemic World” took place today, which was attended by the leaders, ministers and deputy ministers of education of more than 60 countries.


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UNESCO Secretary-General Audrey Azule, keynote speakers from the three countries, including the Prime Minister of Norway, the President of Ghana and the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom delivered speeches at the online meeting.


Afterwards, the leaders of about 60 countries, officials in the field of education, as well as the heads of authoritative international organizations in the field of education made speeches.


Armenia was represented at the meeting by Deputy Minister of Education and Science Arthur Martirosyan. He drew the attention of member states to the issue of exercising the right to education due to conflicts.


“Since September 27, 2020, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, with the active military-political support of Turkey and the involvement of mercenary terrorists, have launched a large-scale military aggression against the Artsakh Republic, targeting peaceful settlements, civilian infrastructure, including educational institutions, cultural and religious sites. While the international community focused on the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, Azerbaijan not only refused to unconditionally support the UN Secretary General’s call for an immediate global ceasefire, but also called for a new escalation of the situation.


As a result of the Azerbaijani aggression, more than 90,000 people were forced to flee their homes, which affected the right of children and youth to education in Artsakh. As a result, more than 33,000 young children were deprived of the right to education. The number of victims among the civilian population, including children, is increasing day by day.


The children left in the Artsakh Republic are deprived of the basic right to education, as Azerbaijan deliberately targets schools and kindergartens. So far, as a result of the Azerbaijani aggression, 18 schools and 6 kindergartens in Artsakh have been damaged. The blows of the Azerbaijani drones also damaged the secondary schools of Sotk and Kut communities of Gegharkunik region of the Republic of Armenia. In addition, temporarily sheltered children in the Republic of Armenia have difficulty integrating into their new environment, the school.


As a member state of the Safe School Declaration, Armenia unconditionally upholds the security of educational institutions, the right of everyone to receive an education without the threat of violence. We are deeply concerned about the fact that Azerbaijan refuses to ratify the Safe Schools Declaration, thus undermining the efforts of the World Coalition to address targeted attacks on education during armed conflicts.


Therefore, I call on the international community to immediately and unequivocally condemn the ongoing atrocities committed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh and Armenia. International organizations, in this case UNESCO, must act adequately, without discriminating against schoolchildren on the basis of their place of residence, as human rights are universal and not limited by borders. “I call on UNESCO to develop mechanisms that will allow everyone to exercise their right to education,” said Arthur Martirosyan.


Full text in Armenian



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