UNESCO Director-General condemns the killing of students and teachers at the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan

The UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, condemned the attack at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan, which killed 19 people and left many injured.

“This deplorable and cold-blooded attack is a crime against students, teachers and education in general. It is a crime against learning committed in the very place where students, male and female, come each day to open their minds and where teachers work to guide them on that path”, said the Director-General.

“Terror will not silence the millions of voices around the world that are demanding their human right to education and for safe schools and universities. Students must be able to learn in peace and safety. We will not let fear or terror have the upper hand.”  

“I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends who have lost those close to them in this tragedy and I call on the perpetrators of this crime to be brought to justice,” said Irina Bokova. “On this occasion, UNESCO stands firmly with the Government of Pakistan in its commitment to ensure the right of every student, male and female, to a quality education.”    

As the UN lead agency for Education, UNESCO plays an active role in promoting education as a part of emergency response and long-term recovery.

In November 2015, the Safe Schools Declaration was endorsed by 51 UNESCO Member States, providing governments with the opportunity to express broad political support for the protection and continuation of education in armed conflict.