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UN envoy urges Security Council to “come together” to protect children affected by war

The United Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict has called upon the Security Council to “come together” to deal with the current plight of children affected by armed conflict.

Virginia Gamba, while recalling that 2019 marks 20 years since the Council first passed a resolution on children and armed conflict and the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, said it is “vitally important” that the body deals with the issue in order to ensure children are better protected.

Gamba noted that she saw “first-hand the situation of children” during her visit to Mali last month, and now wants “increased protection measures for boys and girls.”

The UN envoy expressed confidence that the protection of children can also be used as a platform to initiate peace building processes.

“It can demonstrably positively impact peace processes and agreements, as we recently saw with the commitments of the two groups to cease hostilities,” she said, referring to the Dogon and Peulh communities in Mopti, Mali.

Other that the Niger Delta region, other areas in Africa that are dogged by violence include the Horn of Africa and some parts of Central Africa.

In her address to the Security Council, Gamba also called for support from political players to ensure goodwill in the quest to protect children in war situations.

“High-level political engagement supports the cornerstone of our endeavors; the child protection efforts in situations of armed conflict,” she said.


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