H.E. Mr. Ry TUY
Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the United Nations
Security Council Open Debate
On Children and Armed Conflict
New York, June 18, 2015
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Thank you, Mr. President.
Mr. President, allow me to express my congratulations to Malaysia for assuming the Presidency of the Council this month and thank you for organizing this very important meeting.
My delegation would also like to thank the Secretary General for preparation of the annual report on Children and Armed Conflict and his tireless efforts in working to improve the situation of children worldwide.
Before delivering my national statement, my delegation would like to associate itself with the ASEAN Statement delivered by the Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to the United Nations.
We share the concerns expressed by many delegations about the difficult situation that millions of children face as a result of armed conflicts, and would like to emphasize the importance of this debate for children who are victims on non-State armed groups. Violence against children and attacks on their welfare are on the rise globally, and are well documented. Abductions, rape, torture, slavery, attacks on schools, and the use of children as combatants, suicide bombers and executioners cannot be tolerated by the international community.
Cambodia strongly condemns all forms of violence perpetrated against children. My delegation is deeply concerned about the increasing trend in the abduction of children by non-State armed groups. The Secretary General’s report accurately reflects that this practice serves as “a precursor to other violations, such as killing and maiming, recruitment and use, or sexual violence” against children. Moreover, abduction is used “as a tactic to terrorize or target particular ethnic groups or religious communities.”
The international community must give careful attention to this disturbing tactic of terror, used to dehumanize, humiliate, and subjugate entire populations, particularly women and children.
As a State Party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and a signatory to its Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict of 2000, Cambodia supports the initiatives of the United Nations aimed at protecting children in conflict. The primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security rests with the United Nations, and we, as an international community, must assert the rule of law.
We must strengthen the existent legal instruments for the protection of children in armed conflicts. To this end, we welcome the efforts of the Malaysian delegation to include abduction as an additional violation to trigger inclusion of a party within the annexes of the Secretary General’s Children and Armed Conflict reports.
Children are the future of our generation; they are the future of our progress and our civilization’s development. Children deserve to be raised in nurturing environments without experiencing physical and psychological trauma of armed conflict.
In this light, I reiterate my delegation’s longstanding position, that to protect children from violence, to protect children from slavery, to protect them from everyday horrors of war, we must address the deep-rooted causes of conflict.
Conflict prevention is the prerequisite for sustainable peace and respect for human rights. Poverty, discrimination, lack of education, social exclusion and inequality only perpetuate the cycle of violence. Preventing the use of children in armed conflicts can only be achieved through adequate social, political and economic conditions worldwide. We must take careful note of this because no sustainable development agenda can be successfully applied without first securing a safe and prosperous future for our children.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that the Royal Government of Cambodia is resolved to protect children and their rights in situations of armed conflict. We are committed to working with our global partners, the UN Member States, and the United Nations agencies in our effort to end victimization of children by non-State armed groups. It is only by working together that we can ensure that future generations of children live free and in peace.
Thank you, Mr. President.