NEW YORK – 28 June 2021 – The UAE reaffirmed its commitment to promoting the rights of children in areas of armed conflict and rehabilitating survivors, including by working collectively with UN Security Council members during its term on the body in 2022-2023.
In a written statement to the Security Council for its annual open debate on children and armed conflict, the UAE expressed deep commitment to protecting children in conflict, in accordance with international law and the UN Security Council framework for children and armed conflict. The UAE stated: “We come together today to express our outrage at violations of international law against children and to restate our commitment to the agenda first endorsed here [at the Security Council] 25 years ago: every child deserves protection from the ravages of war, so they may enjoy a life of safety, fulfilment, and happiness.”
The UAE also reiterated its commitment to continuing the strong engagement and cooperation with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, and her office.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased children’s vulnerability and posed considerable challenges to educational and healthcare systems, underlining the need for unimpeded, safe, and timely humanitarian and medical assistance. The UAE condemned the significant rise in the denial of humanitarian access to children by the Houthis, who remain the overwhelming perpetrator of all such verified violations in Yemen. Additionally, the UAE noted that it has emphasized the provision of medical care and lifesaving assistance in conflict situations globally, including equipment and much-needed medicine, as well as by serving as a logistical hub for the delivery of humanitarian assistance worldwide.
Given the impact of the pandemic on humanitarian assistance, the UAE underscored the need to prioritize mechanisms and institutions that protect children in conflict areas, particularly ensuring the UN system has the resources to implement its mandate. In this regard, the UAE highlighted its USD 37.5 million contribution to UNICEF in 2021 and over USD 100 million in recent years to support its crucial efforts in expanding access and protecting children in Yemen.
To mitigate the impact of armed conflict on children, the UAE recommended that the international community develop and promote reintegration programming as a shared responsibility to support children coming out of conflict and re-joining their communities. Furthermore, the UAE stressed that the international community ensures approaches to protecting all children are implemented in a gender-sensitive manner given that girls and women are disproportionately affected by conflict.