Protection of children, fundamental moral in armed conflicts: Iran UN envoy

Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to United Nations in an address to the UN Security Council (UNSC) said on Monday in New York: Protection of children, particularly girls, in armed conflicts is a fundamental moral and humanitarian principle and every effort must be made to ensure that it is fully respected by all parties in all conflicts. 

Nevertheless, it is highly alarming that according to annual report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict, “In 2020, the situation of children in armed conflict was marked by a sustained high number of grave violations.” Unfortunately, many of such violations have occurred in our neighborhood from Afghanistan to Yemen to Palestine,” added Majid Takht Ravanchi.

He said that the most recent example of such violations in Afghanistan is a cowardly terrorist attack that took place, on 8 May 2021, in front of the Sayed Al-Shuhada school in the community of Shi’ites of the Hazara minority in Kabul, killing 85 and injuring 147 others, mostly schoolgirls.

“This and other deadly terrorist acts in Afghanistan, mostly committed by Daesh (the ISIS), targeting certain religious and ethnic minorities as well as women and girls, underscore the continued need for combating terrorism as well as brining the perpetrators of these reprehensible acts to justice,” said the Iranian permanent ambassador to UN.

He added that in Yemen, in 2020 the United Nations verified the killing and maiming of 194 by the so-called Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen, as stated by the Secretary-General in his annual report.

“Nonetheless, on 22 June 2021, Yemeni children marched across the country stating that in more than six years, as a result of the attacks by that Coalition, over 3,500 Yemeni children were martyred, more than 4,000 were injured, thousands were orphaned, and millions were displaced from their homes. They also expressed their strong dissatisfaction with the United Nations for not properly reflecting in its reports of such grave violations of the rights of Yemeni children,” he expressed regret.

Yet, the most systematic and gross violation of the rights of child in the Middle East continues to be committed by the Israeli regime. According to the annual report of the Secretary-General, in 2020, the United Nations verified 1,031 cases of grave violations against 340 Palestinian children, including killing 11, maiming 324 and detaining 361, as well as 30 attacks on schools and hospitals by Israeli forces, said Ravanchi.

Finally, protection of children in armed conflicts is the protection of our future societies. This is a noble humanitarian duty and we must take it seriously and do whatever in our power to protect them from the scourge of wars and conflicts, he concluded.