|Statement by Ambassador Liu Jieyi at the Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict|
The Chinese delegation welcomes the initiative taken by Luxembourg to convene today’s meeting. I would like to welcome the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, His Excellency Mr. Asselborn, who has come to New York to preside over our meeting. I would like to thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Zerrougui; and the Executive Director of UNICEF, Mr. Lake, for their briefings. China also listened carefully to the statement by Mr. Sawaneh.
Children represent our future and our hope. Ensuring their safe growth is the common responsibility of national Governments and the international community. In recent years, the international community has made tremendous efforts and achieved positive progress in protecting children in armed conflict. However, with the increasing complexity of conflict situations, in many regions of the world, children still bear the brunt of armed conflict, and their overall situation is still worrisome.
China opposes and condemns all violations against children in armed conflict and urges all parties to conflict to abide by the relevant international laws, fulfill their obligations and respect and protect the rights of children. The Security Council’s unanimous adoption of resolution 2143 (2014) clearly demonstrates the international community’s strong commitment to strengthening the protection of children in armed conflict. We support the international community in continuing its common effort in providing comprehensive protection of children in armed conflict. In that regard, I wish to underscore the following three points.
First, the Governments concerned bear the primary responsibility for the protection of children in armed conflict. The key to the implementation of Council resolutions on the protection of children lies in the active support and cooperation of the Governments concerned. On the basis of full respect for the ownership of the countries concerned and through in-depth communication and coordination with them, the international community should support the countries concerned in strengthening their capacity-building and help them to resolve their practical financial and technological difficulties. The international community should also do its utmost to put an end to violations against children by armed groups.
Secondly, in order to protect children in armed conflicts, the various bodies within the United Nations system should work on the basis of their own responsibilities and strengths, fulfill their respective mandates and generate synergy. The Security Council should effectively fulfill its primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security and reduce and curb conflicts through good offices, negotiations and mediation so as to create a safe environment for the growth of children. United Nations peacekeeping operations should act in accordance with the Council’s mandate and increase their protection for children. We welcome the “Children, not soldiers” campaign launched yesterday jointly by the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflicts and UNICEF. We hope that by 2016 we will reach the goal of complete elimination of child soldiers in national armies.
Thirdly, in order to protect children in armed conflict, we should address both the symptoms and the root causes. The international community should make the protection of children an integral part of its overall effort to address conflicts and give it its full attention in political negotiations and peace agreements. In promoting post-conflict reconstruction and implementing peacebuilding strategies, the international community should prioritize children’s return to school and reintegration into society and strengthen the institution-building of countries concerned in terms of protecting children, providing adequate resources and increasing development assistance. It should actively support countries concerned in their efforts to eliminate poverty, realize universal education and protect children’s rights so as to eliminate the root causes of conflicts.
Thank you, Mr. President.