UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has called for stepped up action to prevent and ensure accountability for the killing, recruiting and other abuse of children in situations of armed conflict that continued despite greater awareness of the scourge.
”Children continue to get killed, maimed, abducted and subjected to sexual violence,” Ambassador Masood Khan, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, told the Security Council during a discussion of Secretary-General’s latest report on the use of children in armed conflict.
“Persistent perpetrators of violence against children must be identified and brought to justice through national judicial systems and where applicable through the use of international justice mechanisms,” he said.
The report lists eight countries and 51 non-State actors including, for the first time, the Nigerian militia Boko Haram that recruit, kill, maim or sexually abuse children, or engage in attacks on schools and hospitals. It describes threats to children in situations on the Council’s agenda.
In his remarks, the Pakistani envoy condemned use of children in armed conflict and called on all parties to the conflict states and non-state armed groups to stop forthwith violations of children’s rights and prevent their recurrence.
He noted significant progress in establishing standards and norms and listing offenders, but the scourge continued. He welcomed the effective mechanisms of the Children, Not Soldiers campaign, and called for strengthening national prosecution capacities.
Masood Khan also welcomed contacts with non-State armed groups, and stressed that schools should neither be attacked nor used for military purposes.
Peacekeeping missions must receive necessary support to uphold standards of child protection; as a major troop contributor, Pakistan was committed to that effort.