I thank the Brazilian presidency for convening today’s debate. I also thank the SRSG Ms. Gamba and ED Ms. Russel and others for their insightful presentations.
My delegation aligns itself with the statement made by Botswana on behalf of the Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect.
Children are always affected uniquely and excessively in conflict situations. Despite the continuous efforts of the United Nations, including the Security Council, there is a steady increase in the number of children killed or maimed by explosive remnants of war, IEDs and mines. It is unfortunate that children continued to suffer a high number of grave violations in armed conflicts, including 23,982 verified grave violations in 2021.
We thank the Secretary-General for his comprehensive report. We commend the engagement of SRSG and country task forces with parties in conflict that resulted in the release of 12,214 children from armed groups and armed forces. We also commend the work of the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) and Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict.
Bangladesh is committed to protect the civilians including children in armed conflict. As the leading TPCC, our peacekeepers have been serving in many difficult situations to protect the children from being killed, maimed and affected by sexual violence. They also acted to protect schools and hospitals from attack and prevent military use of these infrastructures.
We have been providing shelter to over 1 million Rohingyas for the last 5 years. Among them, over 50% are children who faced atrocities and persecution in Myanmar. Despite enormous challenges, we have been providing basic needs to them, including educational opportunities through 5617 learning centers. We have also introduced Myanmar Curriculum on a pilot basis.
Regrettably, there is no progress in Myanmar to create a conducive environment for the return of these children. We urge the Council to take concrete measures to ensure a prosperous future for the Rohingya children in Rakhine including their full repatriation.
Allow me to highlight few points of particular importance:
First, the protection of child in armed conflict is the primary responsibility of the State. However, the responsibility of other parties is also critical. We must work to strengthen engagement with all parties to ensure their accountability to international human rights and humanitarian law. Amendment of the national legislations is also required.
Second, peacekeeping mandates to protect the children in armed conflict should be strengthened further with adequate capacities and resources. We thank the SG for his recommendations in this regard.
Finally, we reiterate our call to enhance the coordination among all stakeholders of the UN peacebuilding activities. We also emphasize on synergies between PBC and PBF to ensure preventive and protective approach.
I thank you, Mr. President.