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ASEAN voice concern over children's plight in armed conflicts

ASEAN is deeply concerned about children’s situation in armed conflicts despite certain progress, head of Vietnam's permanent mission to the UN Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy said on behalf of the grouping at an open debate held by the UN Security Council on August 2.

He said the UNSC’s adoption of various resolutions on the issue reflects the consensus, commitment and resolve of countries, but the international community needs stronger consensus in order to turn commitment into specific and meaningful actions.

ASEAN welcomes the contributions made by the UN Secretary General Special Representative and the Monitoring and Reporting mechanism, and advocates cooperation in a constructive spirit among the UN, related countries and sides in conflicts, Ambassador Quy said.

He affirmed that ASEAN has always attached importance to promoting efforts to ensure children’s rights in armed conflicts both at national and regional levels, citing the bloc’s moves in the filed such as the ASEAN Dialogue on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the annual dialogue between the ASEAN Commission on the Rights of Women and Children and the UN Secretary General Special Representative on Violence against Children.

The Vietnamese diplomat took the occasion to underline Vietnam’s consistent stance of giving priority to promoting and ensuring children’s rights.

As a country suffering from many wars, Vietnam treasures the value of peace and is deeply aware of the need for a comprehensive strategy to address the roots of  conflicts, in which education plays an essential role in equipping children with necessary knowledge and fostering compassion as well as the love of peace in their  heart, he said.

Quy noted that Vietnam is the first country in Asia and the second in the world to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. During its first tenure in the UN Security Council in 2008-09, Vietnam worked closely with other countries to adopt Resolution 1882 on children and armed conflicts.

He affirmed that Vietnam will continue to join hands with the international community in efforts to protect children in armed conflicts.

At the debate, the UN Secretary General Special Representative Virginia Gamba said in the updated report on children and armed conflicts that serious violations  continued with more than 24,000 cases in 2018, up more than 1,000 cases from the previous year. The number of children killed or maimed last year reached a  record high.

More than 80 countries participated in the debate, demonstrating the international community’s attention to the issue. The countries appreciated the organisation of the debate on the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 10th anniversary of the UNSC’s first resolution on the issue and the 10th  anniversary of Resolution 1882 condemning the killing, maiming of and sexual violence against children.

Countries noted that despite efforts made, serious violations continue and even increase in many areas at an alarming rate. They urged the UNSC to intensify efforts  to prevent and address armed conflicts as well as promote post-conflict reconstruction, while sharing their stances and experience for better protection of children.-VNA/VNP