Qatar Deeply Concerned over Abuses Suffered by Children in Palestine and Syria

New York, – The State of Qatar has expressed deep concern over abuses suffered by children in the occupied Palestinian territories and Syria, stressing that their suffering will continue if the International Community has not been able to solve this conflict.

Qatar also demanded the Security Council to make the protection of children in the list of its priorities.

This came in a statement of the State of Qatar to the UN Security Council open debate on “Children and Armed Conflict”, delivered by Acting Charge D’affaires of Qatar’s Permanent Mission to the UN Ghanim bin Abdulrahman Al Hudaifi.

Ghanim bin Abdulrahman Al Hudaifi began the statement by thanking the President of the Security Council for convening this meeting to discuss this important issue that affects the weakest segment of society, expressing appreciation of the State of Qatar for his tireless efforts as Chairman of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict.

He said that the continuation of discussing this issue by the Security Council over the past years reflects the importance that the international community attaches to the protection of children.

He added that despite the obligations imposed by the international humanitarian law on conflict parties to protect civilians during armed conflicts, children are still paying the highest price during the armed conflict because they are the most vulnerable segment of society and they are unable to protect themselves, so everyone feels the dangerous impacts of wars on the psychological, physical and educational development of children and the reflection of these impacts on their communities.

He explained that the international human rights instruments, international humanitarian law and the Security Council’s resolutions ensured the protection of children, especially Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional protocols, including Protocol I of 1977 which stipulates that children shall be the object of special respect and shall be protected against any form of indecent assault, and the parties to the conflict shall provide them with the care and aid they require, whether because of their age or for any other reason.

Ghanim bin Abdulrahman Al Hudaifi added that Article 38 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), which was endorsed by almost all countries in the world, emphasized the protection of children affected by armed conflict.

Al Hudaifi said that from the belief of the State of Qatar in the importance of education for children, it has paid a great attention to the issue of ensuring education for children in times of crisis, adding that this attention embodied by establishing “Education Above All” Foundation” which aims to provide educational opportunities to communities stricken by poverty or crisis.

He also praised the “Educate A Child” initiative, carried out in collaboration with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which aims to provide education for children and empower them in conflict zones.

The Acting Charge D’affaires of Qatar’s Permanent Mission to the UN Ghanim bin Abdulrahman Al Hudaifi said that Qatar’s Permanent Mission organised a high-level event on the sidelines of the 70th session of the General Assembly with the participation of Qatar’s “Education Above All” Foundation,” and in cooperation with a number of permanent delegations to study ways to enable children and their participation in the development process, provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge, protect them from exploitation and abuse and to ensure their right to a decent and safe life away from fear, asylum and displacement.

He emphasised the responsibility of the conflicts parties to secure the relief of children, which is one of the most important duties that fall on their shoulders, noting to the fourth Geneva Convention which requires States to allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores intended only for civilians and the free passage of all consignments of essential foodstuffs, vaccines, medicines and other.

He also explained that the magnanimous Islamic Shari’a (law) provides rules and regulations that protect children from the scourge of armed conflict, adding that workers in the field of international humanitarian law recognise that the provisions of the Islamic Sharia meet perfectly with the international humanitarian law and the international instruments on child protection during these conflicts, and this was confirmed by the International Committee of the Red Cross in its literature and studies.

Regarding to the international coalition to support legitimacy in Yemen, he said that the coalition is committed to protecting civilians and providing humanitarian supplies to them, as well as paying special attention to children as dictated by its obligations under the International Humanitarian Law and Islam.

Ghanim bin Abdulrahman Al Hudaifi said stressed in the statement that in line with the fundamentals and obligations of the State of Qatar, it will spare no effort to cooperate with the international community to provide the enabling environment for the protection of children, not only during armed conflict, but at all times and circumstances.

Source: Qatar News Agency