NEW YORK, July 9, 2018 – The UN Security Council adopted a new resolution on children in armed conflict, emphasizing the linkage between the protection of children and conflict prevention. Kazakhstan became a co-author of the document and directly participated in drafting the resolution.
The resolution was adopted following a UN Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict at the UN Headquarters in New York chaired by Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven.
Kazakhstan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Kairat Umarov, expressing his concern about the significant increase in the scale, complexity and gravity of violations against children in armed conflict, noted the need for all UN members to ratify and strictly observe the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to prevent violence against children. He underlined the importance of prioritizing measures to prevent conflicts, investing in education, creating and supporting rehabilitation programs for children involved in armed groups. Creating more favorable living conditions and meeting social and economic needs of children, ensuring inter-religious and inter-ethnic education to promote tolerance are crucial for preventing child abuse and recruitment.
“The unanimous adoption of this document and the large number of cosponsors proved that there is a strong consensus between Member States on the importance of the issue. We must use the unity to safeguard children, our most precious resource, through collective and comprehensive measures,” said the head of the Kazakh delegation at the debate.
According to the UN Secretary-General's Report on Children and Armed Conflict, only last year more than 10,000 children were killed or maimed in armed conflicts around the world, more than 8,000 girls and boys were recruited by armed groups, about 900 children were sexually abused.
The debate was addressed by Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba, Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund Henrietta Fore, and senior representatives of more than 70 states and a number of international organizations.
Kazakhstan is committed to international obligations in the field of the protection of children's rights and takes special steps to ensure the security of children in armed conflicts.
Kazakhstan ratified the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict and bolstered the “Children, Not Soldiers” campaign, launched in March 2014, aimed at ending the practice of involving children in armed conflicts. Besides that, our country has acceded to the Paris Principles and the Vancouver Principles as the political instruments for the protection of children in armed conflict, as well as the Safe Schools Declaration, which sets specific measures to protect students, teachers and schools during armed conflicts.
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