NEW YORK (APP) – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday marked the first anniversary of the deadly terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, saying no cause justifies brutality against children.

“No grievance excuses the horror and cowardice of attacking defenceless children while they learn,” the UN chief said in a message released by his office.

“I join with all of you in honouring the many lives lost in the horrific terror attack on the APS in Peshawar on December 16, 2014.I extend my thoughts and good wishes to the family, friends and loved ones of all the victims,” he said in his message.

“One year later, I know the pain and sorrow of this utterly senselessness act remains fresh. So does the outrage. No cause justifies such brutality,” Ban said. “I have been deeply moved by the resolve and resilience of students as they returned to school just weeks after the attack. Through that simple act, they have shown the power of education, hope and peace,” he said.

“Going to school should not have to be an act of bravery. Schools must be safe and secure learning spaces. Thank you for coming together to remember the fallen students and recommit to ensuring the right to safe and quality education for all,” the secretary general said.