Qatar urges greater protection for children in armed conflicts

March 08, 2014 - 12:01:38 pm

DOHA: The State of Qatar has urged the UN Security Council to pay more attention and take more effective measures to protect children from any form of violations during the armed conflicts.

Pointing out to the numerous challenges facing the international community involving the grave violations against children, who constitute the most vulnerable segment of society, and their continued suffering due to the complexity of armed conflicts, the multiplicity of forms and lack of commitment by the parties to the conflict to the International Humanitarian Law.

The State of Qatar also renewed its commitment to the frameworks adopted by the United Nations in this regard, noting the importance of implementing the recommendations of the UN Secretary-General and the UN Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict in the individual cases undertaken by the Council.

This came in a speech delivered here by HE Sheikha Alia Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani, the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations, before the formal meeting held by the Security Council on " Children and Armed Conflict".

HE Sheikha Al Thani emphasized the attention the international community pays to protect children in circumstances of war and peace.

Referring to the presence of more than 25 articles in the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols referring to children in particular, as well the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

On the situation of the Palestinian children, HE Sheikha Al Thani explained that they have no immunity from the Israeli violations.

Noting that 50 Palestinian children were killed and another 665 were injured within one year by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) as well as the arbitrary arrests against Palestinian minors and children under the pretext that they pose a threat.

She also expressed concern over the significant number of attacks on schools and education facilities reported in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Including East Jerusalem, where total of 321 cases were reported in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

On the suffering endured by the children in Syria, HE Sheikha Al Thani condemned the excessive use of force by the Syrian regime and associated militias which led to the killing of countless children, noting to other forms of violations, including arbitrary arrests and detentions, ill-treatment and torture in detention leading to murders, the use of children as human shields , as well as the physical and sexual violence.

The policy of starvation, siege and displacement pursued by the Syrian regime against the people on Syrian cities and villages is not a secret, she said, noting that children are the most vulnerable victims to hunger and disease.

And the most affected by the total destruction of the country's healthcare sector, expressing regret at the increase in the number of polio cases in Syria.

In this context, HE Sheikha Alia Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani, referred to the UNICEF report published recently, which says that more than 3000 schools have been damaged or destroyed in Syria, while over than 1000 schools are being used as shelters for displaced persons.

She also commended the efforts being exerted by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) to develop guiding principles for the protection of schools and universities from military use. (QNA)