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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


Fifty-ninth General Assembly
Third Committee
20th & 21st Meetings (AM & PM)
GA/SHC/3789
21 October 2004

THIRD COMMITTEE BEGINS CONSIDERATION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ ISSUES,
CONCLUDES DISCUSSION OF CHILDREN’S RIGHTS
 
Special Rapporteur Says
Serious Violations of Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights Persist


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Background

The Third Committee met today to conclude its general discussion on the rights of the child.  For additional background information, please see Press Release GA/SHC/3786 of 18 October.

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Statements on Children’s Rights

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RANIA AL HAJ ALI (Syria) ...

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Syria reiterated its call to the international community to avoid a selective policy in dealing with children in armed conflict.  Thousands of children continued to suffer under Israeli occupation in the Syrian Golan Heights.  Those children suffered on a daily basis acts committed by occupying forces.  The occupying forces had closed down education centres and had banned Syrian textbooks.  Entire families had been ejected from their homes following the occupation of the Syrian Golan heights.  The occupying Israeli army had caused daily suffering throughout the region.  The rights of Palestinian children to life and their rights to live in peace had been violated.  Syria urged the international community to pay attention to infringements against children being committed by the Israeli military.

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SAJA MAJALI (Jordan) said her country agreed with the Secretary-General’s report that there was a need for adequate monitoring and reporting mechanisms to follow the situation of war-affected children in order to improve the international community’s capacity to ensure compliance with international standards.  Developments in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel should remain a matter of deep concern to the international community because of their grave impact on the children.  Palestinian children had a right to live a life free from foreign occupation.  They should be spared the risks of physical injury, psychosocial trauma, family separation and loss of social services.

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S. SHAHID HUSAIN, observer of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said that international, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations all had critical roles to play in furthering the rights of children.  The targets set by the Millennium Development Goals would not be accomplished without an intensification of action for disadvantaged children and families across the world.

He said successive OIC summits and conferences had focused on the victimization of children in recent wars and conflict.  They had called upon Member States to take effective measures to prevent children from becoming involved in armed conflicts and to provide for their needs and their personal safety in the events of such conflicts.  The OIC reiterated its resolve to continue to work with the United Nations and its relevant programmes to facilitate the efforts of governments to make humanitarian relief available to children victimized by armed conflict in such areas of conflict as Kashmir, Palestine, Sierra Leone, the Syrian Golan Heights and elsewhere.

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