UN Envoy Seeks Urgent Assistance For Children Trapped In Armed Conflict
“Security Council must ‘come together’ to address the plight of children trapped in armed conflict.”
It is “vitally important” that the Security Council “come together” on the current plight of children affected by armed conflict across the globe”, Virginia Gamba, the United Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict said on Friday.
Recalling that 2019 marks 20 years since the Council first passed a resolution on children and armed conflict and the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, she said the open debate, which comes on the heels of the release of the Secretary-General’s annual report on the issue earlier this week, “provides a milestone” to take stock of our collective efforts to date.
Last month in Mali, Ms. Gamba said that she saw “first-hand the situation of children” and advocated for “increased protection measures for boys and girls”.
She travelled to Mopti, “a region recently affected by dramatic spikes of violence”, saying she was struck by the “common recognition of the importance of protecting children from violence” on the part of the authorities and those in Dogon and Peulh communities.
“It was clear to me that the protection of children can act as a confidence-building measure between opposing parties”, she asserted. “It can demonstrably positively impact peace processes and agreements, as we recently saw with the commitments of the two groups to cease hostilities”.
As Special Representative, Ms. Gamba has expended much energy in engaging with conflict parties where they were willing, which she said has “inspired positive results”.
Moreover, in many situations where a monitoring and reporting mechanism has been in place, Governments have instituted measures that have “galvanized action and allowed progress to develop quickly as a direct result of high-level engagement”.
“Regional and subregional work is a key element of this direct engagement”, according to the Special Representative. “High-level political engagement supports the cornerstone of our endeavors; the child protection efforts in situations of armed conflict”.
Spelling out the importance of “access and actors in the field” she said “we cannot achieve anything without the tireless work on the ground of so many colleagues and partners”.