, UNITED NATIONS, Mar 25 – The UN Security Council should adopt “zero-tolerance policy” towards armed groups in order to create a peaceful environment to protect children, said a Chinese envoy here Wednesday.
Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the UN, made the remarks at a Security Council open debate on children and armed conflict.
“The Security Council should not condone acts by terrorist and extremist forces and other armed groups of brutal killing of children, using children as human bombs and forcing them to kill hostages,” said Liu.
The international community should comprehensively halt the act of harming children by any party to the conflict and urge them to observe relevant international law and international obligations, he added.
Liu noted the protection of children in armed conflict starts with halting and easing armed conflicts, saying that only by preventing the worsening of the security situations can countries avoid children from being harmed in armed conflict.
He also said the government of the country in conflict bears the primary responsibility for the further protection of children in armed conflict.
“In executing council resolutions and effectively implementing the various programs, plans and initiatives for the protection of children, the role of the government in question is irreplaceable,” he explained.
In this regard, he said the international community should make full use of the leading role of the government in question, support the government’s efforts and mobilize the international community to assist in overcoming financial and other difficulties as well as strengthening its capacity building.
In addition, Liu also called on all UN bodies to leverage their respective strengths and advantages so as to form synergy in the protection of children in armed conflict.
“The UN peacekeeping operations should comprehensively fulfil their mandate and increase their protection of children,” he said.
“Related agencies and institutions such as the United Nations Children’s Fund and World Bank should engage in close cooperation to support the countries in conflict to launch their peace- building efforts, promote economic and social development in these countries, guarantee children’s physical and psychological health and ensure that they have the rights and opportunities for equal access to education,” he added.
The Security Council held the open debate under French presidency with a particular focus on child victims of non-state armed groups, since acts of abducting children or recruiting children have become frequent tactics of extremist armed groups nowadays.