Permanent Representative of the islamic republic of Iran to the United Nations Gholamali Khoshroo called for stopping the killing of Palestinian and Yemeni children by the Israeli and Saudi regimes.
Addressing the United Nations Security Council debate on children and armed conflict, Khoshroo urged UN Chief António Guterres to list names of the Zionist regime of Israel and Saudi Arabia among child-killers.
‘We call for the accountability for the war crimes against children committed by anyone, everywhere, to be in Palestine, Yemen, Myanmar or elsewhere. Adopting a selective approach in such cases is tantamount to betraying the most vulnerable people, children, whom this process is designed to protect. It also discredits UN reports and seriously damages the universality of the application of international humanitarian law,’ said Iran ambassador.
The full text of Iranian envoy’s remarks follows:
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
I would like to begin by thanking the Council President, Swedish Prime Minister, for organizing this open debate. I also thank the Secretary-General for his report, and appreciate the valuable inputs from the briefers.
A large increase in violations against children in 2017, as reported by the UNSG, is alarming. This underlines the necessity of redoubling our efforts to prevent the emergence of new conflicts. It indeed is the most effective way to protect children from the scourge of armed conflicts.
Moreover, efforts towards preventing the escalation of current conflicts have to be intensified. In this context, the political settlement must prevail over military solution.
Likewise, by strict, consistent and non-discriminatory application of international law, all perpetrators of violations against children in armed conflicts must be held accountable and brought to justice. Exceptionalism for child killers only exacerbates the situation and further endangers the lives of our children.
If we cannot protect children today, we will fail in preventing conflicts tomorrow. It means we will face a vicious circle of increase in the number of both conflicts and the loss of children’s life.
UNSG’s report once again shows that unfortunately, the scale and severity of violations is seriously alarming in many places, specially in the Palestinian occupied territories and Yemen.
Throughout 2017, a large number of Palestinian children continued to be killed, injured, arrested and detained by Israeli forces. Inclusion of the exponential increase in the level of such violations during 2018 peaceful protests, puts the Israeli regime on top of the list of global child-killers.
This indicates the severity of situation and the brutality of the Israeli forces.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms all brutality of the Israeli forces against the Palestinian children.
Such acts are clear manifestations of war crimes and crime against humanity. They are carried out with total impunity. This must come to an end; and the perpetrators have to be brought to justice. Failing to do so, will only embolden Israel to kill more children.
This situation is the result of Council’s failure in fulfilling its relevant responsibilities, due to the use of veto power by the US – an unconditional impunity extended by the US to this regime.
Despite all atrocities against Palestinian children, unfortunately, IDF has never been blacklisted in UNSG reports. It is expected that the 2018 report put Israel on top of the list of violators of the rights of children in armed conflicts. This can bring accuracy, credibility and impartiality to that list.
The situation of children in Yemen, where according to UNICEF more than 2,200 children have been killed, and nearly all children are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance, is at best comparable only to that of Palestinian children.
Saudi and Emirati forces, who only believe in and seek military solution for Yemen, are responsible for the continuation of this conflict. Creating a separate category for the so-called “improving violators” in the UNSG report, last year and this year, due to the well-known political considerations, did not help to halt their brutalities against the Yemeni children or realities on the ground.
As the UNSG’s report indicates the killing of Yemeni children continued unabated, the last case is an airstrike against a wedding in July 2018, during which at least 7 children lost their lives.
The policy of deliberate killing of children as a war tactic is pursued by Israel, Saudis and Emiratis as well as ISIS. Its aim is to put maximum pressure on their adversaries.
The most notable cases are the mass killing of children by Israel in Lebanon in 2006, by ISIS in Syria in 2013, and by Saudi and Emirati forces in Yemen in 2018.
We call for the accountability for the war crimes against children committed by anyone, everywhere, to be in Palestine, Yemen, Myanmar or elsewhere. Adopting a selective approach in such cases is tantamount to betraying the most vulnerable people, children, whom this process is designed to protect. It also discredits UN reports and seriously damages the universality of the application of international humanitarian law. Ending this situation is indeed our common responsibility. We must responsibly fulfill this responsibility.
I thank you Mr. President.