Unacceptable efforts to deny humanitarian access are impacting children worldwide: UK statement at the UN Security Council

The Children and Armed Conflict mandate is an important tool for advancing the protection of the world’s most vulnerable people, and the United Kingdom is committed to supporting the work of the SRSG and her office.

I would like to emphasise three points today:

First, denial of humanitarian access is impacting children worldwide. The UN reported nearly four thousand violations in 2022. There is every indication this number rose in 2023. In Sudan, the UK is concerned at humanitarian obstruction by both the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces, resulting in the starvation of the Sudanese people, including children. In Ukraine, Russia still does not allow humanitarian organisations meaningful access to territories temporarily under its control. And severe humanitarian access restraints persist in Houthi-controlled areas of northern Yemen.

Second, almost half of all verified incidents of denial of humanitarian access in 2022 occurred in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Today, Palestinian children are facing unfathomable suffering. We were horrified to hear of the killing of seven members of World Central Kitchen staff on 1 April and are deeply concerned to hear reports that Israel continues to block UNRWA’s access to Northern Gaza. We will continue to call on Israel to ensure the protection of humanitarian workers, and to facilitate rapid, unimpeded access for humanitarian organisations to deliver aid to children at the greatest risk of harm, including children in Northern Gaza on the brink of starvation.

Third, the UK calls on all parties to conflict to abide by applicable international humanitarian law, including allowing and facilitating rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access to civilians in need, many of whom are children. 

The Council’s Children and Armed Conflict Working Group plays a key role. We call on all Council members to redouble efforts to reach a consensus on the Council’s Children and Armed Conflict Working Group conclusions in a timely manner, setting aside political interests to prioritise the protection of children.

 We also call for redoubled efforts to implement resolution 2664, ensuring clarity to help humanitarians and their service providers continue to support the most vulnerable.

President, children are never responsible for wars, but they suffer disproportionately from their impacts, including denial of humanitarian access. This Council, and all parties to conflict, must do more to protect them.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button