Sadly we have seen many horrific atrocities in the Middle East in these past months and years. The latest brutal Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, on December 16th, has been shocking.
The massacre of 132 children in cold blood, together with 16 staff members, is beyond comprehension.
As a human being, and as a mother, I would like to state my condemnation and abhorrence of this attack, and convey my deepest condolences and support for the families, loved ones, and communities that have been so tragically bereaved. I would like to express my solidarity with the people of Pakistan, who have had to live through such terrible times of strife and conflict.
As a human rights and peace activist, and as a politician, I would like to assert that attacks like these must and will only strengthen our resolve to work for peace through dialogue, to foster understanding through cooperation, and to cherish diversity by coming together - be it in our own communities in the UK, and in Europe, or in any part of the world where partners call upon us to work with them.
In my work at the European Parliament I have made children’s rights a cause to work for; I host regular meetings of experts on the Quality of Childhood, and co-chair an inter-party group on children’s rights and well-being. As such, this attack has touched me especially. It will serve as a painful reminder why we do the work we do, to achieve the safety, well-being, and prosperity that all children around the world deserve to have, including the children of Peshawar.