Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

Droits de l’enfant – Débat de la 3ème commission de l’AG – Communiqué de presse (extraits) Français
Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter

Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
General Assembly
16 October 2009

General Assembly

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

Sixty-fourth General Assembly
Third Committee
16th & 17th Meetings (AM & PM)



Hears from Some 55 More Speakers, as Three-Day Debate
on Promotion, Protection of the Rights of the Child Concludes



The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to conclude its discussion on the rights of children (for further details, please see Press Release GA/SHC/3951).



NADYA RASHEED, Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine, expressed her delegation’s deep distress that, more than seven years after the adoption of the “World Fit for Children” document, the rights of children around the world continued to be egregiously violated, particularly in situations of armed conflict, including foreign occupation.  As a result, children continued to endure grave hardships.  Without a doubt, a significant gap remained between the international legal standard relevant for children’s protection and the implementation of these laws.  Implementation gaps perpetuated the impunity enjoyed by those who violated children’s rights, and a vicious circle continued: lack of compliance; lack of accountability; and continued transgression.  Even more regrettably, serious human rights violations and war crimes continued to be committed against children.

She stressed that respect for the rules of international law should be compulsory for all States.  But, in Palestine’s case, nearly every provision of international, humanitarian and human rights laws had been violated time and time again by Israel.  Three generations of Palestinian children had grown up as a Stateless and dispossessed people, with millions living under difficult socio‑economic conditions.  They were devoid of any real protection, but continued to be the targets of the excessive, indiscriminate and lethal force routinely unleashed by the Israeli occupying forces.  Never had the absence of protection been more evident than it was during Israel’s three-week aggression against Gaza, launched on 27 December 2008.  More than a third of the 1,400 Palestinians killed were children and more than 1,800 were injured as a result of the use of excessive, indiscriminate lethal force and even illegal weaponry and ammunition.  The targeting of civilian areas and objects had been confirmed by several investigations, including most recently the “Goldstone Report”.

She said that, in addition to the massive carnage against the Palestinian people in Gaza, Palestinian children there continued to inordinately suffer from unlawful collective punishment measures imposed by the occupying Power.  The situation before the three-week assault was already dire, due to the more than 28-month inhumane siege that deliberately obstructed humanitarian access; the movement of sick persons who needed treatment unavailable in Gaza; and the movement of food, medical and fuel supplies.  Since the independent inquiries and investigations into Israel’s military aggression confirmed its commitment of grave breaches of international law, she called on the international community to take all necessary steps to pursue accountability and justice.




She said Israel maintained a comprehensive set of laws and policies to protect the rights of minors.  Broad reform of the way minors were dealt with in the criminal justice system had just begun.  It stressed rehabilitation over punitive measures.  In the education field, the disabled were being integrated into regular schools, to the greatest extent possible.  In the belief that education was more than just learning information, a number of schools had been established to bring together children of different backgrounds, such as the Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam school, where Jewish and Arab children had been taught in a bilingual setting for over 30 years.  Civil society initiatives complemented Government efforts for tolerance and peace.  The Peres Centre for Peace organized programmes for Israelis and Palestinians, with a special emphasis on children through twinned peace kindergartens, twinned sports schools and joint summer camps.  Unfortunately, that vision of peace was not yet shared by all in the region. 

She said that, while children were often victims of terrorism, as they were in Israel, they were also recruited into terrorism.  The latest report of the Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict acknowledged the increasing frequency with which children were recruited to carry out terrorist acts, including suicide bombing, which was the worst imaginable form of child exploitation.  But, her delegation was disappointed that, once again, the report barely mentioned the practices of indoctrination and incitement to violence, which were the twin roots of so much hostility in the world and the Middle East.  When schools, textbooks and television programmes instilled a narrow, intolerant and hate-filled world outlook in children, as seen, for example in the Al-Aksa network’s broadcast in Gaza of a programme specifically calling for the slaughter of Jews, a generation could be lost forever.


MARYAM AL KENDI ( United Arab Emirates) ...


She said the United Arab Emirates ... was particularly concerned by children deprived of their rights through poverty, conflict and occupation, especially in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  More needed to be done to provide such countries with assistance.


* *** *

For information media • not an official record

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter