Vietnam supports the continued efforts made by relevant United Nations bodies to protect children affected by armed conflict in accordance with their respective mandates.

Ambassador Pham Vinh Quang, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam at the UN made the statement at the UN Security Council’s open debate on children and armed conflict in New York on September 19.

He noted that with armed conflicts escalating in many parts of the world, children continue to fall victim to killing, maiming and to all other sorts of violence and most currently, the appalling trend using boys and girls as suicide bombers and “victim bombers”, some as young as eight years old.

As the result, the work of the United Nations on children in general, and on children and armed conflict in particular, is therefore among its most important activities, he added.

In the context, Vietnam attaches great importance to the protection of children affected by armed conflict, and strongly condemns all violations of international law committed against children in conflict situations, said the ambassador.

The country is also pleased that the issue of children and armed conflict continues to receive the attention it deserves on the agenda of the UN and the Security Council and welcomes the significant progress achieved over the past year on the signing of action plans to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers and to secure their release.

In 2008, during the country’s tenure in the Security Council, Vietnam organised an open debate on the issue of children and armed conflict with a view to strengthening the commitments and efforts of the Security Council, the UN and the international community at large towards achieving a long-term and sustainable solution to the issue.

In fulfilling these aims, there is a need for a preventive strategy to address the root causes of armed conflict, by promoting sustainable development, poverty eradication, national reconciliation, good governance, democracy, the rule of law and respect for and protection of human rights, and reintegration and rehabilitation of children associated with armed forces and armed groups, ambassador Quang stressed.

He also highlighted the indispensable role of UNICEF and all relevant UN agencies, actors of the UN system for the successful implementation of such strategy, and the coordination among these agencies and actors should be enhanced to maximise scarce resources, avoid duplication of works and strategically address issues of common concern, he added.

“We wish to reiterate our continued commitment to working with Council members and the international community to defend and promote the best interests of children affected by armed conflict,” the diplomat concluded.-VNA