Delegate: Mr. Hojem
77. Mr. Hojem (Norway), speaking as the youth representative of Norway, said that children and young people living in conflict zones were a particularly vulnerable and unprotected group, for whom education, which was a basic right, could provide a framework of security and stability. However, in conflict situations, schools closed down, young people were recruited to the army or militias, and many were forced to flee their homes. Humanitarian aid was often limited to providing food, medicine and shelter for refugees and displaced persons. Universal access to quality primary education was an essential goal, but secondary education must also be supported. It was vital to train teachers, health professionals and engineers in order to ensure post-conflict reconstruction and recovery, but it was regrettable that education was sometimes used as a pretext for teaching intolerance, racism and xenophobia.
78. Although Governments were increasingly aware of the central role of education in crisis situations, they were reluctant to allocate funds to education as part of humanitarian aid. Education programmes were therefore often underfunded or non-existent. Norway urged all Member States to fulfil their commitments, in particular those set out in the Millennium Development Goals and the UNESCO Education for All initiative, and to increase funding for children and young people in conflict zones. Education programmes for young people in conflict situations should meet international minimum standards such as those established by the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies, and girls should enjoy the same opportunities as boys throughout their education. Norway therefore urged all Member States to include young people as participants in post-conflict political and economic processes.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/63/SR.2