Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Turkey to the United Nations, on The Situation of Children in Armed Conflict

Ertuğrul Apakan 16.06.2010
Madame President,

Let me thank Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Situation of Children in Armed Conflict for her briefing. I warmly welcome Minister for Foreign Relations of Mexico, H.E. Patricia Espinosa Cantellano. I also thank for her comprehensive observations. Allow me extend to Mexico our sincerest congratulations for their distinguished work under the leadership of Ambassador Heller as the Chair of the Working Group of the Council as well as their efforts in preparing the PRST we are going to adopt today. I also thank other briefers Ms. Johnson, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, Mr. Atul Khare, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.

Madame President,

Children are faced with appalling forms of abuse and violence every day in different parts of the world. They are reported to be forcibly abducted and recruited as militants. Children are also victims of sexual trafficking, and particularly girls face sexual violence. Many children do not have access to education or basic health care during armed conflicts. We must reverse this trend and protect children at all costs. And the Council plays an imperative role in this regard.

Secretary-General's report provides us with very useful information to end all violations and abuses committed against children. We take note of his observations. We support his recommendations. We welcome the attention that is brought to persistent violators.

Madame President,Important progress has been made over the past year and we welcome Security Council resolution 1882 and the expansion of the triggers for listing to killing and maiming of children as well to rape and other sexual violence. Human rights violations committed against children cannot be tolerated and will not be tolerated. Therefore, we believe protection of children is part of the collective cultural values of humanity. Our aim in the Council for better protection of children is stronger child protection frameworks. We must continue our collective efforts to this end. Turkey also believes in the importance of investigating, prosecuting and punishing all those who commit grave violations against children.

We would also like to emphasize grave concern about the increased number of attacks on education facilities, schools and pupils. Since education is the future of new generations, Security Council should address this problem in its future deliberations.

Madame President,While working to achieve our goals, we believe, three points should be always kept in mind:- States at every stage have to be encouraged to cooperate with the Working Group.

- The work of the Group should be expedited and facilitated in order to cover more situations. - We have to give the priority to the implementation of the UN documents first.

On this last point, Turkey strongly supports each UN instrument and initiative related to the rights of the children. We show our dedication and sensitivity on the issue of violations against children by being party to every UN instrument related to this issue. Needless to say, these UN instruments have become a fundamental part of Turkey's legislation. We are party to various instruments promoting the rights of the children outside the framework of the UN. Our first priority should be to recruit every country to support and ensure the implementation of all UN Conventions and Protocols.

Madame President,

Children are almost one third of our population. They are our future. We have to unite for their future. We should react to persistent violators of children rights to free children from the devastating effects of armed conflicts. Security Council should not refrain from taking the essential steps to stop violations against children and fulfill our responsibility in protecting our children. Turkey is committed to contribute to all efforts in order to halt the persistent perpetrators of crimes against children. And we call all Member States to be active on this issue. Thank you.