|Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi at the Security Council Debate on Children and Armed Conflict|
(Photo by Li Muzi, Xinhua News Agency)
China welcomes Malaysia’s initiative in convening today’s meeting. We thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Ms. Zerrougui, and Executive Director of UNICEF Mr. Anthony Lake for their briefings.
Children are the primary victims of armed conflicts in war-torn countries and regions. As terrorist activities escalate and spread, terrorist organizations’ killings, abductions and recruitment of children for terrorist attacks have become an increasingly serious problem. The continuing turbulence in parts of the Middle East has triggered large waves of refugees and migrants. Displacement and trafficking in children are becoming even more rampant. The international community should, in light of the new situation and dynamics, take effective measures for the protection of children in armed conflict.
First, we must wage a resolute fight against the heinous acts and violations carried out by terrorist organizations against children. The international community should maintain consistent standards, zero tolerance for and non-distinction vis-à-vis terrorism, bring great pressure to bear on terrorists, and firmly combat the killing, abuse and abduction of children carried out by terrorist organizations. All countries should step up their law enforcement cooperation to ensure that all those responsible for violations against children are severely punished in any country they may flee to. In rescuing children abducted by terrorist organizations, countries should increase their intelligence and information-sharing so as to fully mobilize all forces and come to the rescue of children held hostage.
Secondly, children should be prevented from becoming the victims of terrorist and extremist ideologies. The international community should take effective measures and effectively combat the use by terrorist organizations of the Internet to spread terror through audiovisual means and to carry out recruitment and incitement activities. We should improve the education of children and help them develop a mentality of respect, openness and tolerance, reject violence and avoid the negative influences of terrorist and extremist ideologies. We should give full play to the role of the family, the school and the community in forming a protective umbrella against the encroachment on children by terrorist ideologies.
Thirdly, a proper response should be made to trafficking in refugees and migrants. The countries of origin, transit and destination of refugees and migrants should improve their border enforcement cooperation, improve mechanisms for immigration, border control, customs and coast guards, combat related crimes, reduce the incidence of exploitation of children, step up the identification, repatriation and protection of children subject to trafficking, and protect children’s legitimate rights and interests.
Fourthly, international humanitarian relief for displaced children needs to be strengthened. While respecting the sovereignty of a country in conflict and the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality, the international community should ensure that children are provided with food, medical care, education and legal aid and help their reintegration into society. The role of the United Nations Development Programme, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund, inter alia, should be fully leveraged in coordinating international humanitarian relief efforts and forming synergies.