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Chinese envoy urges end of violence against children in conflict areas

Updated: Sep 9,2014 11:24 AM     Xinhua

UNITED NATIONS - A Chinese envoy to the UN on Sept 8 called on all parties to the armed conflicts to stop violence against children, and urged unified efforts by the international community to provide a safe place for children to grow up.

“In too many conflict areas, children are the most vulnerable group, being the first to bear the consequences of the conflict,” China’s permanent representative to the UN Liu Jieyi told a UN Security Council open debate on the issue.

“China opposes and condemns the violation of children’s rights in armed conflict and supports the initiatives by the UN and its Security Council for the protection of children in armed conflict,” he said.

Liu noted that the key to protect children in armed conflict “is to prevent and resolve the conflicts” and welcomed the UN campaign “Children, not soldiers,” which seeks to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children by national security forces by 2016 in eight countries including Afghanistan, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.

“National governments bear the primary responsibility for the protection of children,” said Liu, adding that the international community should provide space for the governments to play a leading role, value and support their efforts and help them in their capacity-building.

“The international community and regional organizations must not overlook the acts of violence against children unleashed by armed groups and non-state actors,” he said.

“In particular, the abuses of children and the attacks on schools by some extremist terrorist groups must raise the highest attention from the parties concerned and efforts must be taken to resolutely fight this phenomenon,” he added.

Liu also emphasized the importance of helping children to return to normal life in post-conflict reconstruction and the governments’ efforts to eliminate poverty, making education available to all and promoting sustainable development.

“China is ready to work with the parties concerned in order to comprehensively improve the situation of children in armed conflict and to make sure children be spared of pain and suffering brought about by war and conflict,” he said.