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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
16 October 2008


General Assembly
GA/SHC/3921

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York



Sixty-third General Assembly
Third Committee
14th & 15th Meetings (AM & PM)
THIRD COMMITTEE SPEAKERS PRAISE STRENGTHENED CHILD RIGHTS LEGAL STRUCTURE, BUT
SAY CHILDREN IN POVERTY, CONFLICT ‘SAD REMINDER’ OF HOW FAR WORLD HAS TO GO
Hears Some 50 Speakers as Debate Continues on Rights of Children;
Draft Resolutions on Crime Prevention, World Drug Problem Introduced


While lauding the success of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its protocols as a legal instrument, and the increased attention given to children’s issues at high-level meetings and debates, delegates to the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today decried the lack of targeted actions aimed at the specific needs of children, as discussions on the promotion and protection of rights of children continued for a second day.

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Background The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to continue its discussion on the promotion and protection of the rights of children (please see Press Release GA/SHC/3920).

Statements

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SAMIRA A. ABUBAKAR ( Libya)...

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... She also expressed deep concern regarding the situation of children living under foreign occupation, particularly in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, who suffered daily persecution at the hands of Israeli occupation forces.

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SANDRA SIMOVICH ( Israel) said that armed conflict and terrorism presented greater dangers to children today than in years past.  In some areas, armed groups routinely launched their operations or attacks from among civilian populations and those groups also, frequently, targeted civilians as well.  Children were sometimes used to carry out suicide bombings and the indoctrination of children into the world of extremist ideology could lead to grave violations of their rights.  The reports of “summer camps” run by Hamas in the Middle East were alarming and entire generations would be lost if Member States did not resolutely address the scourges of indoctrination and incitement.  Sexual violence had become commonplace in conflict, though sexual violence as a tool of war was particularly shocking to the conscience of civilized nations.  Impunity must not be tolerated and the United Nations policy of zero tolerance for sexual exploitation must be implemented swiftly and transparently. However, all was not gloom and significant progress had been achieved in areas such as childhood disease and primary education, she said.  In Israel, a special committee on the rights of the child worked to advance the status of children and to assist them in exercising their rights, in accordance with international agreements.  As well, in an effort to protect children from violence, Israel had instituted a total ban on corporal punishment, including in schools and at home.  He urged Member States to join his country in working towards improving children’s security in every sense of the word.  Doing so would require more resources, universal ratification and implementation of international instruments designed to protect children and genuine cooperation, setting aside internal and external differences for the sake of the children.

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SOUHAD KHRIESAT ( Jordan)...

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... Turning to the situation of children living in occupied Palestine, she stressed their right to live in security and safety.  Children traditionally received a big share of government support in health, education, nutrition and social care, and the international community had a responsibility to help countries fulfil that condition.

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WAHEED ABDULWAHAB AHMED AL-SHAMI ( Yemen)...

... In closing, he touched briefly on the situation of children suffering under Israeli occupation, and called on the international community to lighten the suffering of Arab children in those situations.

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For information media • not an official record

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