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ASEAN calls for child protection in conflict zones

Update: March, 26/2015 - 16:54
The ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga affirms that Viet Nam and ASEAN countries welcomed the progress in implementing the UN Security Council's resolutions on children and armed conflict. — Photo Vietnamnet.vn

NEW YORK (VNS) — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) called on the United Nations (UN) and international organisations to intensify efforts to protect children during armed conflict at a UN Security Council's open debate in New York on March 25.

Speaking on behalf of the ASEAN, Viet Nam's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, strongly condemned the increasing number of child abductions and attacks targeting schools and hospitals made by non-state armed groups.

She emphasised that the variety of non-state armed groups in their nature, form or motive means that different measures of engagement are required to defeat them, and this should be undertaken within a broader strategy of conflict prevention and response.

That strategy should, amongst others, address root causes of armed conflicts and cover social, economic and development issues during and after armed conflicts, she added.

The ambassador affirmed that Viet Nam and ASEAN countries welcomed the progress in implementing the UN Security Council's resolutions on children and armed conflict.

She also applauded member states concerned for the efforts in implementing their respective Council-mandated action plans, and welcomed the integration of the protection of children in armed conflicts in their national policies.

"We appreciate the work done by UN bodies and concerned agencies in armed conflict, particularly in monitoring and reporting on grave violations against children, incorporating child protection policies in peacekeeping operations, and promoting the implementation of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programs," she said.

The diplomat highlighted ASEAN's own efforts in child protection, including the participation in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the approval of the ASEAN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Children in ASEAN in 2013.

"To conclude, ASEAN reiterates our continued commitment to working with Council members and the international community to protect and promote the best interests of children affected by armed conflicts," the Ambassador said.

At the debate, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that there are around 230 million children living in countries and areas where armed groups are fighting. Of the figure, up to 15 million children are affected directly by violence.

He called on the international community to take joint action to protect children from becoming victims of the conflict.—VNS/ VNS

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