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Summary record of the 13th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Wednesday, 14 October 2009, at 3 p.m.
Chairperson: Mr. Penke ...................................................................................... (Latvia)
Agenda item 65: Promotion and protection of the rights of children
(a) Promotion and protection of the rights of children
(b) Follow-up to the outcome of the special session on children
20. Mr. Pournajaf (Islamic Republic of Iran) said that Member States usually concentrated on the effects of violence against children, such as female genital mutilation or early marriage, rather than the causes of violence, which included weak ethical values. United Nations reports and studies should consider moral issues in relation to controlling violence against children. His delegation would appreciate more information regarding the children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, as the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict had made no specific reference to them in her statement.
21. Ms. Rasheed (Observer for Palestine) asked the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict to state her position on the recently released report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (A/HRC/12/48). According to that report, serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity, had been committed by the Israeli occupying forces in Gaza, in a deliberately disproportionate and systematic attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize the civilian population. The tragic consequences of the savage and insane 23-day Israeli military aggression launched against the people in Gaza had included the unlawful killing of over 400 children and the maiming of others, the destruction of schools and homes, mass displacement, the obstruction of water and sanitation infrastructure, the use of children as human shields and the arbitrary detention of children.
22. She asked how the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict would follow up on the allegations and recommendations contained in the report and what steps the Special Representative had taken to ensure protection for Palestinian children so that the Israeli occupying Power could never again commit such grave violations of international humanitarian law and war crimes against Palestinian children and to see to it that the perpetrators were held accountable and brought to justice.
23. Ms. Gendi (Egypt) ... The Egyptian delegation looked forward to hearing the response of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict to the questions posed by the observer for Palestine. Her report contained only superficial coverage of the situation of children in Gaza, although the Office of the Special Representative was usually more thorough in its reporting. Her delegation looked forward to hearing why certain aspects had been overshadowed or disregarded.
30. Ms. Halabi (Syrian Arab Republic) ...
31. Turning to the report of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict (A/64/254), she wondered why the Special Representative had failed to discuss the situation of children living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, even as the report mentioned her visit to the Territories. ...
36. Ms. Coomaraswamy (Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict), ...
38. With regard to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, she had submitted to the Human Rights Council a report on the grave violations committed against children in Gaza and in southern Israel, based on the findings of the relevant task forces. Given the exhaustive nature of the report, which was available for distribution, the situation had not been given as much coverage in the reports of the General Assembly or the Human Rights Council. Her Office had given evidence for the report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (A/HRC/12/48), and the parts of that report that related to children were in complete conformity with the Office’s findings. Furthermore, her Office fully supported any accountability process proposed in the follow-up to the report and would continue to monitor the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The meeting rose at 6 p.m.
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Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.