HomeNews / DocumentsMalaysia's StatementsMalaysia's Statements 201518 JUNE 2015 - STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE ANIFAH AMAN, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF MALAYSIA AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL OPEN DEBATE ON CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT, NEW YORK

18 JUNE 2015 - STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE ANIFAH AMAN, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF MALAYSIA AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL OPEN DEBATE ON CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT, NEW YORK

Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

 

Let me start by thanking Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for his remarks. I also wish to express my sincere appreciation to Special Representative Leila Zerrougui and Ms Yoka Brandt of UNICEF for their briefings and valuable insights. Malaysia fully acknowledges and commends the vital and indispensable work of the United Nations in advocating for and in providing assistance to children affected by armed conflict around the word.

 

2. I further wish to thank Ms. Eunice Apio from the Facilitation for Peace and Development of Uganda for her testimony on the consequences of child abduction, the effects of which are far-reaching and felt long after conflict has ended.

 

Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

 

3. Graca Machel in her seminal 1996 report on the impact of armed conflict on children advocated forcefully that the protection of children in armed conflict is the joint responsibility of all actors – Member States, international and regional organizations, civil society and even the lone individual, each playing their respective roles.

 

4. It is this sense of shared responsibility that Malaysia appeals to when calling for concerted action to end and alleviate the suffering of children harmed by warfare. This is especially so if we are to address challenges which require sustained attention and close collaboration.

 

5. For, the challenges are many.

 

6. In Yemen, Iraq and Palestine, children are losing their lives as a result of airstrikes and use of explosive weapons in densely populated settings.

 

7. Children in South Sudan and Somalia continue to be recruited in large numbers by armed groups and militias.

 

8. Children abducted by violent extremist groups such as Boko Haram and Da’esh (ISIL) are forced into sexual slavery; coerced or brainwashed to inflict bloodshed, including as suicide bombers, combatants and executioners.

 

9. These continued violations against children shock our collective consciousness and demand a concerted, collective response.

 

10. The increasing incidence of abductions perpetrated primarily by non-state armed groups is grave and disturbing.

 

11. Children who are abducted can be subjected to myriad further violations - they are harmed multiple times over. The use of abduction by violent extremist groups as a terror tactic against local communities and minorities is an acute concern which cannot be easily addressed using available tools or mechanisms.

 

12. This is why, in our view, the unanimous adoption of resolution 2225 today is important as it underscores our unified stance in denouncing the abduction of children.

 

13. Strengthening the monitoring and reporting on abductions as well as identifying perpetrators will contribute to ensuring accountability.

 

14. At the same time, we must also ensure that security forces and peacekeeping missions are trained and equipped to proactively respond to situations where children are at risk of abduction and other grave violations.

 

15. Ms. Apio illustrated in poignant detail the long-term consequences experienced by children, particularly girls, and communities impacted by abduction; underscoring the importance of ensuring that mechanisms and programmes are in place to facilitate the reintegration and rehabilitation of children victimized by armed groups back into their communities.

 

16. We must also recognize that reintegration is a long-term effort that requires the collective responsibility of all stakeholders, including the international community. In this regard, community-based reintegration programmes that foster a spirit of unity and reconciliation amongst communities ravaged by war deserve to be fully supported.

 

Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

 

17. We are equally alarmed by the increasing instances of attacks on schools and hospitals as well as the military use of schools by both State and non-State armed groups, depriving access to education and healthcare to thousands of children.

 

18. Building on the call in Security Council resolutions 1998 of 2011 and 2143 of 2014 for the protection of schools from attack and military use; I am pleased to announce Malaysia’s endorsement of the Safe Schools Declaration recently adopted on 29 May 2015 in Oslo, Norway.

 

19. We encourage all member states to consider endorsing the declaration, which among others aims to raise awareness on good practices that would deter the military use of educational facilities in armed conflict and preserve schools as mainstays of learning, not bloodshed.

 

Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

 

20. The question of accountability cannot go unaddressed and is a vital component of comprehensive approach to child protection. We urge for actions to be taken under national or international justice mechanisms, where appropriate, against parties that commit violations and abuses against children.

 

21. We reaffirm the importance of the Security Council framework for children and armed conflict and the various tools that have been developed to ensure the accountability and compliance of parties to conflict, including through the listing mechanism of the annual report. We believe that facts should be the determining factor that guides our actions under this framework.

 

22. We are dismayed that the credibility and integrity of the mechanism was questioned this year. During last year’s 50-day war in Gaza, over 500 Palestinian children were killed and over 1,000 children suffered serious injuries causing permanent disabilities as a direct result of Israeli attacks.

 

23. Despite the fact that the number of Palestinian children killed was the third highest in the world, and the number of schools damaged or destroyed was the highest in the world in 2014, we failed to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to account.

 

24. Impunity will only further embolden the perpetrators. When we start applying different standards to perpetrators and when we discriminate against those who deserve justice and accountability, we are in fact perpetuating grave violations not only of children’s rights but humanity in general.

 

Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

 

25. On behalf of my delegation, I wish to express our heartfelt appreciation to all Council members and Member States that supported the resolution just adopted, including by co-sponsoring the text.

 

26. We fervently hope that the adoption of this resolution will serve to further strengthen our collective resolve to continue developing effective strategies and responses for the protection of children in armed conflict, even in the face of unprecedented challenges.

 

27. The future of our nations and of the world rests upon the shoulders of the children that we secure, protect and nurture today.

 

28. As a non-Permanent member of this Council and Chair of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict as well as a responsible member of the international community, Malaysia reaffirms its commitment to ensuring that children affected by armed conflict are given the attention and consideration that they truly deserve.

 

Thank you.

STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE ANIFAH AMAN, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF MALAYSIA AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL OPEN DEBATE ON CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT

THURSDAY, 18 JUNE 2015

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me start by thanking Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for his remarks. I also wish to express my sincere appreciation to Special Representative Leila Zerrougui and Ms Yoka Brandt of UNICEF for their briefings and valuable insights. Malaysia fully acknowledges and commends the vital and indispensable work of the United Nations in advocating for and in providing assistance to children affected by armed conflict around the word.

2.            I further wish to thank Ms. Eunice Apio from the Facilitation for Peace and Development of Uganda for her testimony on the consequences of child abduction, the effects of which are far-reaching and felt long after conflict has ended.

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

3.            Graca Machel in her seminal 1996 report on the impact of armed conflict on children advocated forcefully that the protection of children in armed conflict is the joint responsibility of all actors – Member States, international and regional organizations, civil society and even the lone individual, each playing their respective roles.

4.            It is this sense of shared responsibility that Malaysia appeals to when calling for concerted action to end and alleviate the suffering of children harmed by warfare. This is especially so if we are to address challenges which require sustained attention and close collaboration.

5.            For, the challenges are many.

6.            In Yemen, Iraq and Palestine, children are losing their lives as a result of airstrikes and use of explosive weapons in densely populated settings.

7.            Children in South Sudan and Somalia continue to be recruited in large numbers by armed groups and militias.

8.            Children abducted by violent extremist groups such as Boko Haram and Da’esh (ISIL) are forced into sexual slavery; coerced or brainwashed to inflict bloodshed, including as suicide bombers, combatants and executioners.

9.            These continued violations against children shock our collective consciousness and demand a concerted, collective response.

10.         The increasing incidence of abductions perpetrated primarily by non-state armed groups is grave and disturbing.

11.         Children who are abducted can be subjected to myriad further violations - they are harmed multiple times over. The use of abduction by violent extremist groups as a terror tactic against local communities and minorities is an acute concern which cannot be easily addressed using available tools or mechanisms.

12.         This is why, in our view, the unanimous adoption of resolution 2225 today is important as it underscores our unified stance in denouncing the abduction of children.

13.         Strengthening the monitoring and reporting on abductions as well as identifying perpetrators will contribute to ensuring accountability.

14.         At the same time, we must also ensure that security forces and peacekeeping missions are trained and equipped to proactively respond to situations where children are at risk of abduction and other grave violations.

15.         Ms. Apio illustrated in poignant detail the long-term consequences experienced by children, particularly girls, and communities impacted by abduction; underscoring the importance of ensuring that mechanisms and programmes are in place to facilitate the reintegration and rehabilitation of children victimized by armed groups back into their communities.

16.         We must also recognize that reintegration is a long-term effort that requires the collective responsibility of all stakeholders, including the international community. In this regard, community-based reintegration programmes that foster a spirit of unity and reconciliation amongst communities ravaged by war deserve to be fully supported.

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

17.         We are equally alarmed by the increasing instances of attacks on schools and hospitals as well as the military use of schools by both State and non-State armed groups, depriving access to education and healthcare to thousands of children.

18.         Building on the call in Security Council resolutions 1998 of 2011 and 2143 of 2014 for the protection of schools from attack and military use; I am pleased to announce Malaysia’s endorsement of the Safe Schools Declaration recently adopted on 29 May 2015 in Oslo, Norway.

19.         We encourage all member states to consider endorsing the declaration, which among others aims to raise awareness on good practices that would deter the military use of educational facilities in armed conflict and preserve schools as mainstays of learning, not bloodshed.

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

20.         The question of accountability cannot go unaddressed and is a vital component of comprehensive approach to child protection.  We urge for actions to be taken under national or international justice mechanisms, where appropriate, against parties that commit violations and abuses against children.

21.         We reaffirm the importance of the Security Council framework for children and armed conflict and the various tools that have been developed to ensure the accountability and compliance of parties to conflict, including through the listing mechanism of the annual report. We believe that facts should be the determining factor that guides our actions under this framework. 

22.         We are dismayed that the credibility and integrity of the mechanism was questioned this year. During last year’s 50-day war in Gaza, over 500 Palestinian children were killed and over 1,000 children suffered serious injuries causing permanent disabilities as a direct result of Israeli attacks.

23.         Despite the fact that the number of Palestinian children killed was the third highest in the world, and the number of schools damaged or destroyed was the highest in the world in 2014, we failed to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to account.

24.         Impunity will only further embolden the perpetrators. When we start applying different standards to perpetrators and when we discriminate against those who deserve justice and accountability, we are in fact perpetuating grave violations not only of children’s rights but humanity in general. 

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

25.         On behalf of my delegation, I wish to express our heartfelt appreciation to all Council members and Member States that supported the resolution just adopted, including by co-sponsoring the text.

26.         We fervently hope that the adoption of this resolution will serve to further strengthen our collective resolve to continue developing effective strategies and responses for the protection of children in armed conflict, even in the face of unprecedented challenges.

27.         The future of our nations and of the world rests upon the shoulders of the children that we secure, protect and nurture today.

28.         As a non-Permanent member of this Council and Chair of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict as well as a responsible member of the international community, Malaysia reaffirms its commitment to ensuring that children affected by armed conflict are given the attention and consideration that they truly deserve.

Thank you.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia
Wisma Putra
No. 1, Jalan Wisma Putra, Precinct 2
62602 Putrajaya, MALAYSIA

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