HE. Mr. Hassan Kleib
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia
at the UN Security Council Open Debate on
the agenda item: Children and Armed Conflict"
New York, 17 July 2008
Thank you, Mr. President,
Let me, first, join others in thanking Vietnam, our fellow ASEAN member in initiating this very important meeting. We are pleased to see you, Mr. Deputy Prime Minister, chairing this debate, and we are certain that under your very able stewardship, this meeting will arrive at a successful outcome. We thank the Secretary-General for his statement. We also thank SRSG Coomaraswamy, ASG Mulet, Executive Director Veneman, and Ms. Hunt for their respective important statements. My delegation also wishes to express its thanks to Ambassador Ripert of France, Chairman of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict and his leadership of the Working Group.
The issue which brings us together today is an essential tragedy of conflict- that of its youngest victims. From Palestine to Iraq, from Afghanistan to DRC and elsewhere, children are casualties and victims of war. The plight of children in armed conflict continues to grip this Council.
With thousands of children bearing arms as child soldiers and countless others thought to be affected in other ways, children also suffer from the spread diseases and under-development in armed conflicts. Efforts to protect former child soldiers and child victims should therefore be conducted beyond the framework of security or right-based issue. Indonesia has been steadfast in its position that this issue should also be discussed within the framework of social, economical, and developmental framework.
Often separated from their families, and living in squalid conditions of war zones, these children are greatly in need of psychological as well as physical intervention.
Childhood, then, becomes a nightmare, in which they are separated from parents and family, their homes may be destroyed, health and education services are disrupted, and trust is undermined. Watching parents suffer from murder, rape or torture, or being threatened themselves, puts extreme pressure on a child’s coping mechanisms, manifesting itself in extreme anxiety and insomnia, as well as difficulty functioning in school, or suffering from depression.
The international donor community has to continue to provide long term and sustainable assistance to facilitate the full recovery of children. This assistance should and must be provided without political pre-conditions. Wherever and whenever, there are children affected by armed conflicts, we should devote our full energy and passion to assist them. Our political aspirations, ideological differences should not prevent the attainment of our common objective.
This assistance will require an approach that includes development and humanitarian dimensions, under-girded by the political will of states. In this regard, UNDP and its development partners as well as UNICEF and WHO, must be continuously engaged to increase their development and humanitarian initiatives that help countries in need.
With the growing complexity and intricacy of world matters, the United Nations would not be surely in position to tackle all of the issue of protection of children. We, therefore, recognize the pivotal role that can be provided by regional organizations in addressing the multi-faceted aspects of this issue. In addition, we also welcome and commend the increasing role of NGOs and other civil society organizations.
However, we strongly believe that the best protection of children from armed conflicts is in its prevention and address the sources of armed conflict at their roots. And, this should be done in the context of peace process as stipulated by Resolution 1612. Thus, the Security Council as mandated by the Charter has to promote continously peace process for that these children can be protected.
As a newly established body, the Working Group has to continue to update, refine, and strengthen its working methods. For this reason, we cannot but to commend the efforts of the Working Group to try to improve its working method in order to maintain its impartiality, transparency, accountability, inclusivity, and constructive cooperation with the country concerned.
In addition, the Working Group should provide a clear guideline on how to define a clear exit strategy for countries or parties to be delisted from the Annexes. While demand to parties to the armed conflict has to be fully monitored and reported, it is equally pertinent that a clear, objective, and measurable guidelines should be in place.
Finally, Mr. President, let us not, as the Special Representative Radhika Coomaraswamy has said, allow children to be the “forgotten and neglected victims of the fighting” and put future generations at risk. Let us work toward a world in which there is more humanity, more caring, and more gentleness, in which children are valued and protected, starting here with this Council and its initiatives. To conclude, let me therefore assure you of our full support for the adoption of the draft Presidential Statement on this very important matter.
I thank you.
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