Statement delivered by

HE Dr Ali Naseer Mohamed, Permanent Representative

at UNSC Open Debate on Children and Armed conflict

9 July 2018 

Thank you, Mr President,

I wish to thank Sweden, this month’s presidency, for holding the open debate on Children and Armed Conflicts. The Maldives congratulates the Council for adopting today’s Resolution on Children in Armed Conflict, which, the Maldives was pleased to co-sponsor. The Resolution provides a comprehensive framework for mainstreaming the protection, rights, well-being, and empowerment of children that are affected by armed conflicts. 

Children carrying automatic rifles that are taller than them, or little girls and boys rescued from the rubbles of buildings shattered by missiles are images that have endured with us for so many decades. These are images that come to mind when we think of children and armed conflicts. There are tens of thousands of children who are affected by, or who suffer from armed conflicts; the thousands of children that are killed, or massacred, and those who have to live with scars of abuse in conflicts for the rest of their lives.  

Open debates, such as this, and Resolutions such as the one that the Council adopted this morning, will be meaningful only if we, the Member States, are sincere in our efforts in implementing the Resolution. Members of the Security Council can start such an effort by reducing the flow of weapons from their countries to the conflict zones. 

The Council can also forge a closer link between the topic of Children in Armed Conflict, and other broader topics on conflict resolutions, such as sustaining peace, or the discussions on the protection of civilians. In almost every instance, it is the supply of weapons, both legal and illegal, that exacerbates conflicts. At the same time, the Council has to, as a matter of urgency, take a more holistic approach in promoting the causes of peace. Attempts to manage crises, or the attempts to respond to developments in conflict hotspots should not define the Council.  

The Council should urge UNICEF and the UNDP to encourage national Governments to take strong actions in promoting the key aspects of the Resolution. A real progress can be made through longer-term development strategies. It must recognise the specific needs and vulnerabilities of children in situations of armed conflict. 

No child should be trapped in any conflicts or wars and it is our responsibility to ensure their safety. We can only achieve it if we, the international community work together to address the most fundamental root causes of conflicts. We must devise our strategies to realize the aspirations of children.

I thank you.