The Safe Schools Declaration was opened for state endorsement in Oslo, Norway, in May 2015. It is a political commitment to better protect students, teachers, schools and universities during armed conflict, to support the continuation of education during war, and to put in place concrete measures to deter the military use of schools. By endorsing the Declaration, States commit to restoring access to safe education and to developing education systems that are conflict-sensitive and promote respect between social or ethnic groups.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict serves as the leading UN advocate for the protection and well-being of children affected by armed conflict. Attacks against schools are one of 'six grave violations' that warrant listing governments or armed groups in the annual report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict presented to the Security Council. Others are killing and maiming of children; recruitment or use of children as soldiers; sexual violence against children; abduction of children; and denial of humanitarian access.
International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.