Luxembourg, 17 May 2013 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, was on an official visit to Luxembourg on 16 and 17 May 2013. She met with Jean Asselborn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, to discuss the situation of children affected by armed conflict, especially in countries such as Syria, Mali and the Central African Republic.
As a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Luxembourg has assumed the presidency of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict in January 2013.
“I want to thank the Government of Luxembourg and the Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the United Nations, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas, for their unwavering support,” said SRSG Zerrougui.
The Special Representative also met with the Luxembourg Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Marc Spautz, to discuss the country’s engagement in development cooperation in particular in Mali and Myanmar.
During a meeting with H.R.H. the Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, a UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children, the Special Representative discussed the importance of developing holistic reintegration programmes for children separated from armed forces and groups.
Speaking to local media, SRSG Zerrougui emphasized the importance of ensuring that the voice of children is heard in the highest political forums.
SRSG Zerrougui also held meetings with the Luxembourg Consultative Commission for Human Rights and the Ombudsman for Children Rights, as well as with representatives of civil society and non-governmental organizations engaged in humanitarian assistance and development cooperation.
Speaking to students of the University of Luxembourg, the SRSG recalled the achievements and challenges of protecting children affected by armed conflict since the establishment of her mandate by the General Assembly in 1996. She highlighted the importance for the international community to intensify its efforts to ensure that perpetrators of grave violations against children are held accountable before national and international courts.
Photo Credit: Ministère des Affaires étrangères du Luxembourg
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