TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -Iran’s UN ambassador has stressed that political pressure on the world body is stopping it from taking necessary steps towards countries who violate children’s rights.
While addressing the Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict on Tuesday, Gholamali Khoshrou noted that 2016 was a “horrifying year” for children in countries engaged in armed conflicts.
“At least 4,000 verified violations by government forces and more than 11,500 verified violations by the range of non-State armed groups have occurred in the relevant reporting period. They perpetrated acts of violence against children, launched indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations, targeted schools and health facilities and detained children in large numbers,” he said.
He went on to note that the Tel Aviv regime had never been blacklisted by the UN despite its constant targeting of Palestinian children.
“The 2016 report on this issue and other UN agencies documented that the numbers of Palestinian children in military detention reached the highest levels recorded since 2010, with 444 children (including 15 girls). Use of live ammunition is frequent by Israeli forces leading to the killing of 30 Palestinian children this year,” he said.
He added that Saudi Arabia was also entered in to the UN’s black list last year for killing and maiming Yemeni children, but was later removed following Riyadh’s threats and pressure.
“Last year, the Saudi-led coalition was first blacklisted, based on the UN findings indicating that it was directly responsible for 60% of child casualties, including the deaths of 785 children due to bombings of schools and hospitals. But surprisingly, its name was finally removed from the list, again due to heavy pressures and lobbying. This year we have noticed that the name of Saudi led Coalition is in the list, though as an “improving child killer.”
Khoshroo concluded that the UN’s selective actions towards the violators of children’s rights questions the credibility of international humanitarian law, and was an act of betrayal towards the world’s most vulnerable citizens.