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Children and armed conflict
Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict (S/2006/826)
The President (spoke in Spanish ): I now give the floor to Ms. Ann Veneman, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund.
Ms. Veneman : ...
Again this year, the report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict (S/2005/826) indicates that children continue to be deliberately targeted in conflicts. The report provides detailed information on six grave violations of children’s rights perpetrated by over 40 parties in more than 20 conflict-affected countries. These violations against children continue to be committed in defiance of agreed international norms and standards. However, by naming the parties that continue to recruit or use child soldiers, the Security Council has demonstrated its determination to match words with deeds. Those who violate the international standards for the protection of children can no longer do so with impunity. The lists annexed to the report represent an important step forward in our efforts to induce compliance by parties to conflict with international child protection standards.
The report notes that, despite the progress made with respect to the protection of children in several situations of armed conflict, new areas of concern require our attention. We remain deeply concerned by the ongoing conflicts in several countries highlighted in this year’s report. In the occupied Palestinian territories, an estimated 119 Palestinian children have been killed this year, more than twice the total number of child deaths registered in 2005. Children and adolescents represent more than half the population in the territories, and they are living through a terrifying siege that will likely have an enduring impact. They have seen family members killed and their communities destroyed. It is time to scale up protection and support to children in this fractured region.
The President (spoke in Spanish ): I now give the floor to Mr. Gabriel Oling Olang, representative of Save the Children.
Mr. Oling Olang : ...
I am the District Manager for Save the Children for the Gulu district in northern Uganda, my home area where I have lived and worked for the last five years. Today I will share with you some of my experiences in this war-ravaged area, knowing that not only do I speak from our first-hand knowledge, but also that we represent the situation of many, many more children around the world, living during or in the aftermath of crisis and conflict. Their situation is similar in more ways than one, whether they live in different corners of the world such as Afghanistan, Colombia, Nepal, the occupied Palestinian territories or the Sudan, to name only a few, or in my own country.
Mr. Al-Nasser (Qatar) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
The intense suffering of many of the world’s children requires that we move beyond the question of child soldiers and address the nefarious violations that befall children of all categories and in different types of situations. In that connection, the plight of children in the Middle East, especially in occupied Palestinian territory and Lebanon, comes to mind, in particular because the dynamics of those situations are unique.
Mr. Mayoral (Argentina) (spoke in Spanish ): ...
The adoption last year of resolution 1612 (2005) provided the Security Council with a set of useful tools to advance in the implementation of concrete measures to improve the situation of children affected by armed conflict. Today, in reading the report of the Secretary-General on the reality being lived by those children, we cannot fail to express our concern about the obstacles in the way of solving this serious problem. Many children are still being recruited as combatants by organizations or parties to situations of armed conflict under consideration by the Security Council, such as in Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar, Somalia and parts of the Sudan. Other girls and boys continue to be victims of sexual violence, such as in northern Uganda, and many have died as a result of the bombing of civilian populations, schools and hospitals in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. Others are kidnapped with different objectives, and many others, sadly, will die due to unexploded ordinance.
The meeting was suspended at 1.05 p.m.
This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the Official Records of the Security Council . Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-154A.