UNSC Meeting, Indonesia Emphasizes Child Protection in Armed Conflict

Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister (Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs), Mahendra Siregar at a UN Security Council briefing on Children in Armed Conflict (Security Council Briefing on Children in Armed Conflict) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States, Wednesday (12/2). (Photo: Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

New York, MINA – Indonesia stresses the importance of protecting children in the peace process and better protecting them in the future.

It was conveyed by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Mahendra Siregar at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on Children in Armed Conflict at the UN Headquarters in New York, United States on Wednesday, February 2.

“By integrating child protection into the peace process, we have opened the way for a better future for children,” Mahendra said as quoted by the official website of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday.

The meeting was chaired by Philippe Goffin, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense of the Kingdom of Belgium, as President of the UNSC in February 2020 and attended by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium. The UN Secretary General, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union Commission, and the Chair of the Advisory Board of Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict acted as the briefer at the meeting.

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In his statement before member states of the UNSC, Deputy Minister Mahendra highlighted the 2019 Secretary General Report, which estimated that more than 24,000 serious violations against children had been verified by the UN in 20 countries situations.

It shows that the issue of children in the armed conflict agenda remains a relevant issue in international peace and security.

Furthermore, the Indonesian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs conveyed three main points to strengthen steps to better protect and prepare children in the future.

First, the importance of implementing international commitments on child protection. Child protection must be integrated in the entire peace process by promoting the best for children.

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“Indonesia is committed to implementing the normative basis of child protection in all peacekeeping missions in which Indonesia is contributing,” stressed the Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister.

Second, the Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister pointed out the need for comprehensive measures of child protection in armed conflict, from prevention efforts to community and family-based reintegration.

“Indonesian peace forces have carried out repatriation of children who joined armed groups and efforts to prevent violence against children,” explained the Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister.

Third, the Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister stressed the importance of strengthening support for child protection efforts. All stakeholders have an important role in the peace process in determining specific steps in child protection efforts. This requires cooperation from all member countries and regional organizations to boost their capacity.

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“By ensuring that children get their rights, we have contributed to the future of children and in the long term invest in creating peace,” Mahendra concluded his statement.

The meeting has adopted the Statement of the President of the UNSC (Presidential Statement) for the protection of children in conflict. In addition, practical guidelines have been launched for mediators to better protect children in situations of armed conflict. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)