Disappointed at UN chief’s report on children and armed conflict: India

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UNITED NATIONS: India has voiced disappointment over UN chief Antonio Guterres’ report on children and armed conflict, saying it includes situations that do not meet the definition of armed conflict or of threat to international peace and security.
The Secretary General’s report on Children and Armed Conflict said children continued to be affected by incidents of violence between armed groups and the government, particularly in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir.
The report added that the United Nations also continued to receive reports of the recruitment and use of children, including by the Naxalites, particularly in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Tanmaya Lal, participating at the Security Council debate on Children and Armed Conflict here on Monday, said that the UNSC Resolution 1379 requests the Secretary General to report on situations that are on the agenda of the Security Council or that may be brought to the attention of the Security Council by the Secretary General, which in his opinion threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.
“In spite of the clear mandate provided under the UNSC Resolution 1379, we are disappointed that the report of the Secretary General includes situations, which do not meet the definition of armed conflict or of threat to maintenance of international peace and security,” Lal said.
He asserted that such distraction from situations that are under the mandate of the Security Council needs to be rectified and the mandate strictly adhered to.
Lal said that a lot more remains to be done especially in keeping with the changing nature of armed conflicts that involves a range of non-state actors.
Terrorist entities, including those designated by the Security Council continue to exploit children as part of their terror activities, with impunity. Despite considerable international efforts, children are increasingly victimised both as targets as well as perpetrators of violence, he said.
He said killing, maiming, abductions as well as rape and other forms of sexual violence against children and attacks on schools and hospitals continue to be used as tactic of terror, making resolution of conflicts more challenging.
India called for constructive engagement with national governments concerned, especially in formulation and effective implementation of action plans for durable peace and security.
We need to strengthen our commitment to socioeconomic reintegration of children who have been released from armed groups, greater integration of child protection provisions in peace processes as well as greater accountability for all violations against children by state and non-state actors, he said.
Lal also voiced concern about lack of resources to implement provisions of the UNSC mandate, including the deployment of more Child Protection Advisors and to comprehensively address the connection between conflict prevention and the protection of children.

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