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        General Assembly
12 November 2007

Original: English

Sixty-second session
Official Records

Third Committee

Summary record of the 14th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Wednesday, 17 October 2007, at 3 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. Wolfe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Jamaica)


Agenda item 66: Promotion and protection of the rights of children

(a) Promotion and protection of the rights of children

(b) Follow-up to the special session on children

The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.

Agenda item 66: Promotion and protection of the rights of children (A/62/297 and 319; A/C.3/62/2)

(a) Promotion and protection of the rights of children (A/62/182, 209 and 228)

(b) Follow-up to the special session on children (A/62/259)


4. Ms. Coomaraswamy (Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict), introducing her report (A/62/228), ...


5. Her country visits to observe at first hand the situation on the ground constituted a central element of her advocacy strategy for increased international cooperation and action. In 2007 she had visited the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Lebanon, Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories, Myanmar and, most recently, Cote d’Ivoire. During the course of the visits, parties to conflict had made numerous commitments, some of which were described in detail in the report. Some progress in implementing those commitments had been made. Since 2006, for instance, progress on action plans to end the recruitment of children by armed forces and groups had been made in the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Myanmar, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Chad.


15. Ms. Abdelhady-Nasser (Observer for Palestine) noted that six main categories of crimes against children had been identified. In view of the fact that, since the start of the second intifada, nearly 1,000 Palestinian children had been killed and thousands of others maimed, she asked whether the Special Representative, who had visited the occupied Palestinian territories earlier in the year, would care to comment on the following points: the indiscriminate use of force that led to the deaths and maiming of children; the use of children as human shields; the effect on children of impeding access to humanitarian access and services, particularly in Gaza; and the impact of abject poverty arising from armed conflict on the children of the occupied territories.


20. Ms. Halabi (Syrian Arab Republic) expressed regret that the Special Representative’s report had not contained more details on the situation of children in Palestine and Lebanon. Similarly, paragraphs 58 to 71 of the report of the Secretary-General on the follow-up to the special session of the General Assembly on children (A/62/259) should have contained a reference to the aggression suffered by children in occupied territories. On the question of appointing a special representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children, she said that such a mandate should not cover children in armed conflict. In that connection, she asked whether the Special Representative’s current mandate specifically covered children in occupied territories. She had in mind children in the occupied Syrian Golan, for example.

21. Ms. Simovich (Israel) said that her delegation took note of the Special Representative’s recognition of Hizbullah’s cynical exploitation of children in armed conflict and the adverse effects of Palestinian factional fighting on children. Her delegation also welcomed the Special Representative’s account of her visit to Sderot, where the children lived under unceasing strain owing to the indiscriminate firing of rockets on schools and kindergartens by terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Her delegation looked forward to engaging in a constructive dialogue with the Special Representative. She also wished to know what progress there had been on the discussions with President Abbas and the Palestinian authorities, at which the President had agreed to revive a code of conduct under which Palestinian groups would not involve children in political or armed violence.


27. Ms. Coomaraswamy (Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict) said, with regard to the question by the observer for Palestine, that the situation had been complicated by the changing nature of the conflict, in which armed groups sometimes engaged in criminal activities. With the blurring of the line between combatants and civilians, the whole issue of terrorism and counter-terrorism would need to be adjusted in the light of international humanitarian law. With regard to the question by the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic, she said that a detailed report on the situation in the occupied territories was available on the website of her Office as an unofficial document submitted to the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. It would, in due course, appear in the official report to the Working Group. As for the question by the representative of Israel, she said that discussions with the Palestinian Authority and Israel continued. She commended the cooperation shown by all the parties during her visit to the occupied territories and hoped that further progress could be made.


54. Mr. Abdelhameed A. Mohamed (Sudan) ...


61. His delegation expressed its deep concern at the ongoing tragic situation of children under foreign occupation in Palestine and the Syrian Golan and urged the international community to resolve that problem and work for a just and lasting peace and the departure of the occupier.


The meeting rose at 6 p.m.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.

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