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Statement during the August 2016 Security Council open debate on the children and armed conflict:

“The United Nations monitoring and reporting mechanism on grave violations against children in situations of armed conflict continues to help define the full scale of the crisis by providing vital information on the unspeakable atrocities they have experienced and witnessed. Using that information, we must and will continue working with parties to conflict to better prevent violations of the rights of children in armed conflicts and help shape programmes and services that can brighten these children’s futures. That includes focused action in three particular key areas: explosive weapons and remnants of war, health care and education.

First, I note the use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas. These weapons accounted for almost 44,000 deaths and injuries last year alone. When they were used in densely populated areas, nine out of ten victims were civilians. Not only does the use of these weapons kill and maim children; not only does it deny these children safe access to hospitals, schools and water facilities; but it also results in new and permanent disabilities among children and makes life even more difficult and dangerous for those already living with disabilities. Children are the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in any conflict, and children living with disabilities are even more so.

We all should call on all parties to conflict to commit to protecting children by changing the way they wage their wars, including by ending the use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas.”

Statement during the June 2015 Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict:

“Even as we tackle such challenges, new threats emerge…And even in places where children should be safe, they are not. Think of the attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, that killed 145 children and teachers. Or Gaza last year, where more than 260 schools were damaged or destroyed. Or the countries where Governments and non-State armed groups use schools to store weapons, detain prisoners and house soldiers. Or the continued use of explosive weapons and indiscriminate weapons, such as landmines and cluster bombs, in populated areas.”

Statement during the June 2013 Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict:

“The first trend relates to the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. Armed conflicts frequently occur in urban settings. When explosive weapons such as artillery, mortars, rockets, improvised explosive devices and aircraft bombs are used in those areas, they kill or injure large numbers of children. Those attacks not only have a long-term emotional and psychological impact on children, but also destroy vital social infrastructure such as roads and power supplies. They deprive children of access to essential basic services, such as schools and hospitals, and, in the absence of immediate medical care, injuries can turn into life-long disabilities. We therefore urge all parties to conflict to adopt different tactics and rules of engagement. We urge that they neither position their troops among civilians nor target each other in the middle of villages, towns and cities. We urge that they adopt rules to guide how and where explosive weapons can be used.”

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