The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Virginia Gamba, visited Riyadh on 1-2 November 2023 to exchange with the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen on sustaining the protection of children in Yemen in the context of the ongoing de facto truce and peace negotiations.
The Special Representative welcomed the significant progress achieved in the implementation of the 2019 memorandum of understanding and the related programme of time-bound activities endorsed in January 2020, and commended the timely issuance of quarterly progress reports and the strengthening of the Coalition’s Child Protection Unit over the years.
The Special Representative met with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Waleed A. Elkhereiji, the Director of Civil Military Operations of the Joint Forces Command of the Coalition, Major General Abdullah Dakhail Al Hobabi, the Chairman of the Joint Incidents Assessment Team, Mr. Ali Alhamad, as well as with Chairwoman of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, Dr. Hala Mazyed Altuwaijri, and the Assistant Supervisor General of Operations and Programs of the King Salman Foundation, Mr. Ahmed A. Al Baiz.
The Special Representative discussed how to use the opportunity of the current de facto truce to prioritize the rights and needs of children, and to support the children of Yemen by providing funding for community-based reintegration and mine action programs. The Special Representative noted the importance of renewing and expanding the truce, and of engaging with the Special Envoy for Yemen towards the resumption of an inclusive political process to reach a comprehensive negotiated settlement, and to include child protection concerns in this process.
“I believe the strong development of the Coalition’s Child Protection Unit and of the Joint Incidents Assessment Team have the potential to benefit the whole region, including in the context of efforts by the League of Arab States to protect children. Prevention, capacity-building, public awareness, including mine risk reduction education, the development of child support community centers and the inclusion of child protection language in mediation and peace processes can best ensure the protection of child rights. My Office stands ready to assist to deliver a peaceful future for all children” said the Special Representative.
For additional information, please contact:
Ariane Lignier, Communications Officer, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
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