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Agenda items 8 and 9 (continued)
Review of the achievements in the implementation and results of the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children and Plan of Action for Implementing the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children in the 1990s
Renewal of commitment and future action for children in the next decade
Draft resolution (A/S-27/L.1)
The Acting President (spoke in Russian): The Assembly will now hear a statement by His Excellency Mr. Talal Mubarak Al Ayaar, Minister for Social Affairs and Labour, Minister for Electricity and Water of Kuwait.
Mr. Al Ayaar (Kuwait) (spoke in Arabic): ...
The State of Kuwait deeply sympathizes with the tragedy of the many children throughout the world who for political or economic reasons, or because of the selfishness of certain rulers, continue to suffer. In that regard, we cannot ignore the plight of Palestinian children suffering under the practices of Israeli occupying forces, who use indiscriminate and brutal force to wreak havoc and destruction. Among the victims of the Israeli forces are children, who are the most vulnerable group in society. We call on the General Assembly to condemn Israeli practices and to call on Israel to end immediately all such practices and to protect all civilians, especially children.
The Acting President (spoke in Russian): ... I now call on Her Excellency Ms. Samia Ahmed Mohamed, Minister for Social Welfare and Development of Sudan.
Ms. Mohamed (Sudan) (spoke in Arabic): ...
While preparations were under way for the special session on children, which has been convened to assess their living conditions and to review the achievements that have been made in caring for them and safeguarding their welfare, the rights of children were being undermined and their innocence was being destroyed by the bullets of the Israeli occupation forces in Palestine, in a show of horrendous and atrocious oppression and persecution. Such attacks were being perpetrated against children and women in full view of the entire world.
All children have the same rights, and international law must apply to all, without exception. Only in that way can children be protected and human rights fully guaranteed. We therefore call for international protection to be provided to the Palestinian people and for the implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions so as to guarantee the protection of the civilian population.
The Acting President : The Assembly will now hear a statement by His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Abdi Hashi, Chairman of the delegation of Somalia.
Mr. Hashi (Somalia): ...
The children of Palestine and of Somalia deserve better. Palestinian children are denied by the Israeli occupation forces nearly all the rights enshrined in the Convention. Palestinian children are killed by the Israeli forces, their homes are destroyed and their right to a peaceful environment is shattered with impunity.
The Acting President: The Assembly will now hear a statement by His Excellency Mr. Farid Abboud, Chairman of the delegation of Lebanon.
Mr. Abboud (Lebanon) (spoke in Arabic) : ...
Conditions for children in our region have been negatively impacted by the continuation of Israel’s aggressive policies against civilian communities. Israel’s occupation and bombardment of southern Lebanon, and its infrastructure and institutions, which continued for many years, have caused enormous destruction and have badly eroded the social infrastructure. The negative effects on children were tremendous.
Paragraph 74 of the Secretary-General’s report on landmines states that the Israeli occupation left behind more than 400,000 landmines, which have killed many children and other civilians. Mine clearance is proving to be difficult because Israel has not provided Lebanon with detailed maps showing where mines were planted in our territory. Furthermore, the occupation by Israel of Palestinian territories and its pursuance of a consistent and comprehensive policy of aggression against the Palestinian Authority and its institutions, including the targeting of civilians, has destroyed or paralysed educational and health-care institutions in Palestine and subjected the Palestinian people to grave dangers, which must be dealt with quickly, before disaster strikes.
The Israeli practices had catastrophic consequences in the Jenin camp, where Israel targeted civilians of all ages, including innocent children. It is not the school curriculum that is the main reason for the violence in Palestine, as some have claimed, but this pattern of aggression against civilians, especially children, that is responsible. Facts, not words, lead to action; we must change the facts of occupation. The child whose father is killed, whose brother is detained or whose house is destroyed will resist, whatever the school curriculum says. Occupation and oppression are among the most dangerous threats to children and to childhood. The best way to protect the children is to put an end to the occupation, which is destroying their lives and their territory.
The Acting President : The Assembly will now hear a statement by His Excellency Mr. Hussein Hassouna, Chairman of the observer delegation of the League of Arab States.
Mr. Hassouna (League of Arab States) (spoke in Arabic): ...
In March 2001, the cause of children was the subject of a summit-level meeting of the League of Arab States held in Amman. There, participants called for effective follow-up to the results of the summit. The Arab Summit in Beirut also adopted very important legislation and guidelines regarding the rights of the child and the issue of protecting Palestinian children from the unprecedented violence to which they are being exposed. The legislation aims at protecting the rights of children and at implementing and enforcing other international agreements on children and on their survival.
The President returned to the Chair.
Today, Palestinian children are isolated in their world, landlocked in their own homeland, deprived of food and medicine. We call on the Assembly to adopt a resolution establishing a mechanism to investigate the atrocities committed against Palestinian children and another mechanism to ensure the protection of Palestinian children.
The President : I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Mokhtar Lamani, Chairman of the observer delegation of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Mr. Lamani (Organization of the Islamic Conference) (spoke in French): The Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Mr. Abdelouahed Belkeziz, has charged me with reading out the following message.
(spoke in Arabic)
“Let me touch on the tragic situation of Palestinian children at this dreadful time of unceasing Israeli attacks in the Palestinian territories. Such a situation redoubles our responsibility towards those children persecuted in Palestine and elsewhere in the world — our responsibility to protect their rights and to guarantee them safe, sound and stable family conditions, so that succeeding generations can be equipped with a good and useful education and can learn strong moral values, based on mercy and compassion for the weak, respect of others, sympathy and tolerance.
“Prosperity on earth is closely linked to the kind of upbringing we provide for our children in terms of a sound environment and a decent education, as they are the major hope for humanity.”
The President : I now give the floor to Mr. José Linati-Bosch, Chairman of the observer delegation of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Mr. Linati-Bosch (Sovereign Military Order of Malta): ...
Through its humanitarian activities, the Order of Malta takes care of children in different countries, from Brazil and the Dominican Republic to the Holy Land. Our Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem — a maternity hospital that conducts over 40,000 medical examinations a year — was besieged and damaged as a consequence of the violence in Palestine. This is just one example of armed conflict around the world, which results in displaced persons and refugees, among which children are the group that is most harmed. I myself was able to witness the problems faced by children in refugee camps when I visited them.
The meeting rose at 12.55 a.m., Saturday, 11 May 2002.
This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. 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-178. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.