The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), Virginia Gamba, welcomed the effective implementation of ceasefires by parties to conflict following the global call for peace made by the UN Secretary-General on 23 March 2020, in which he emphasized the need “to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives”: COVID-19. Many global leaders echoed the call of the Secretary-General, including the Members of the Group of friends on CAAC and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who also expressed their support to the UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery Plan.
Since the Secretary-General’s call, parties in at least 11 countries have committed to halt hostilities, including several on the Children and Armed Conflict agenda. Parties in the Philippines, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Cameroon, among others, have declared ceasefires, allowing life-saving aid to be delivered to populations in need and humanitarian workers increased access to children, who remain the most vulnerable of all during conflict.
“Ceasefires present an additional opportunity to include the rights and wellbeing of children into peace dialogues and I urge all those engaged in such discussions to include child protection provisions, such as securing the release of all children associated with parties to conflict and prioritizing their reintegration assistance,” said Virginia Gamba. “I also urge all parties to push further their commitment to peace by putting an immediate end to the recruitment and use of children as a key component of ceasefires. At this time of global trial, let the ceasing of hostilities and the building of peace bring light to those that suffer and secure hope for children so that they stop being used and abused by, in and for armed conflict”.
The Special Representative reaffirmed that the current halt in hostilities is one of the few positive gains in these difficult times and that it should be used as an opportunity to put boys and girls at the heart of peacebuilding efforts, as they remain crucial to building the foundations of sustainable peace.
More on the Practical guidance for mediators to protect children in situations of armed conflict
For additional information, please contact:
Fabienne Vinet, Communications Officer, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
+1-212-963-5986 (office) / +1-917-288-5791 (mobile) / email@example.com
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