Sana’a Government Signs Convention on Protection of Children with UN

The Government of National Rescue in Sana’a signed on Tuesday with the United Nations an agreement on the protection of children.

During the signing ceremony, the Adviser to the President of the Supreme Council for Diplomatic Affairs, Ambassador Abdelelilah Hajar, noted that Yemen’s children were the most affected segments of society by war and siege.

According to statistics, some 8,330 children were killed and injured, and a total of 1,214 schools, educational centers, and 410 hospitals and health centers were targeted.

According to United Nations statistics, some 13 million children were in need of humanitarian assistance, 2.2 million children under the age of 5 were suffering from malnutrition and more than half a million were suffering from life-threatening severe malnutrition, thousands of children were affected by severe diarrhea and cholera outbreaks, along with the displacement of more than 2 million children.

Ambassador Hajar stressed that since the beginning of the war against Yemen, military forces and people’s committees have been investigating with the utmost degree the obligation to respect the norms of international humanitarian and human rights law, including avoiding targeting civilians, especially children, and civilian objects, especially schools and hospitals, or using them for military purposes.

The violations attributed to the national side in the Secretary-General’s reports were concentrated in a limited conflict zone within Yemen, where many extremist and hostile armed groups were present and did not hesitate to commit numerous violations, the source of which was difficult for the monitor and observer to determine. In addition, the army and people’s committees do not possess sophisticated warplanes capable of launching raids on cities and neighborhoods.

Ambassador Hajar also affirmed that the Yemeni people, their army, and people’s committees uphold tolerant Islamic values that prohibit and criminalize abuse or harm to children, let alone cause their death or injury.

For his part, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, David Gressly, praised the signing of the action plan by the authorities in Sana ‘a. This is a step in the right direction to protect Yemen’s children.

The UNICEF representative in Yemen, Philippe Duamelle, described the signing of the Action Plan as a milestone and important for the protection of children in Yemen whose lives have been horribly affected by conflict.

He expressed the aspiration for the full implementation of the action plan and to continue to work with all parties to protect the safety of children in Yemen.

For its part, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, who participated in the signing ceremony by default, commended the signing of the Plan of Action.

She noted that peace was the best means of preventing grave violations against children in Yemen. Call for seizing the current truce’s opportunity to include child protection in the ongoing peace negotiations.

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