I thank H.E. Dato Sri Anifah Aman, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia and President of the Security Council, for convening this timely debate on children and armed conflict. This matter is of highest priority and urgency for the State of Palestine, whose children’s lives are gravely endangered by the Israeli occupation.
I also thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Ms. Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Yoka Brandt, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, and Ms. Eunice Apio, Director of Facilitation for Peace and Development, for their important briefings.
We come before the Security Council anguished by the Secretary-General’s decision to exclude Israel from the list of parties committing grave violations against children in his annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict (S/2015/409).
Israel, the occupying Power, is without doubt a flagrant violator of child rights. Israel systematically commits crimes against Palestinian children, its actions contravening its obligations under human rights law, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and international humanitarian law, which obligates the occupying Power to ensure the well-being and safety of the civilian population under its occupation. [Read more…]