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National Statement of Germany during the UN Security Council meeting UN Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict, 26 June 2024

Children and armed conflict

Children and armed conflict, © Germany UN

26.06.2024 - Speech

The statement was delivered by Ambassador Thomas Zahneisen, Deputy Permanent Representative

Mister President,

Germany aligns itself with the EU statement and the statement by the Group of Friends of CAAC. We thank the Republic of Korea for convening this debate, and all briefers for their valuable statements. We commend the Secretary-General for his important and in-depth report, and thank him for his unwavering personal commitment to better protect children in armed conflict.

Germany is shocked by the 21 percent increase in grave violations last year. We are particularly concerned about the deteriorating situations in Sudan, Myanmar, Colombia, Lebanon and Nigeria.

We are alarmed by the steep increase and high number of grave violations in Israel and Palestine, where children are suffering tremendously in the war unleashed by Hamas and other terrorist groups on October 7th. It is unbearable that so many children have been killed, maimed and abducted on that day, some of which have been held hostage in Gaza for more than eight months. We also condemn Hamas’ despicable practice of abusing schools and hospitals for military activities. We reiterate our call on Israel to conduct military operations strictly in line with international law, to make immediate, credible and effective efforts to spare innocent lives, including the lives of children, and to significantly improve humanitarian access. Much more needs to be done to diminish the consequences of this war on the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in Gaza. We echo the Security Council’s call to accept the three-stage peace plan proposed by Egypt, Qatar and the US, which we see as the best chance for peace.

Russia rightfully remains listed. It is unacceptable that Russia, in the third year of its unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine, and after being listed for the second time, has still not signed an action plan with the UN.

Germany fully supports the Secretary-General’s recommendations, and urges all parties to conflict

- To respect international law;

- To sign the EWIPA Declaration;

- To ratify relevant conventions, especially the Child Rights Convention and its Optional Protocols;

- To endorse the Safe Schools Declaration, the Paris Principles and Commitments, and the Vancouver Principles.

- And to work with the UN on concrete action plans to protect children.

The CAAC mandate is a powerful tool, and Germany remains fully committed to it. We continue to be UNICEF’s second largest donor. And we support the SRSG’s Office on the development of the guidance note on the denial of humanitarian access, which will be launched later this year.

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