General Assembly Security Council






SEPTEMBER  08, 2014

Madam President,

1. I take this opportunity to congratulate the United States for assuming the presidency of the Security Council this month, and organizing today’s open debate on this issue of great importance and urgency.


2. Children constitute nearly one third of the humanity and are our most valuable resource. Childhood is the foundation for the physical, psychological, social and intellectual development of a country.


Madam President,

3. Our commitments to the rights of the child are continuously threatened by the perpetrators of armed conflict. Children in many parts of the world are being forced to bear arms and wage war alongside adults. In these affected areas, and in new areas, schools continue to be attacked, healthcare and education are on the brink of complete breakdown and development is coming to a standstill. This does not bode well for the proper implementation of the post-2015 Development Agenda which we are going to adopt at the 70th anniversary Summit of the United Nations in 2015.


Madam President,

4. India is deeply concerned that children are getting increasingly involved in the vicious grip of armed conflict, both as targets and victims of violence and abuse. The primary responsibility for addressing this issue lies with the governments of member states of the United Nations. This is due to their obligations and responsibilities under the relevant treaties and conventions they are party to, and also to the duty that governments have towards their citizens. India acknowledges the integral role of civil society in this framework and as invaluable partners in our national and international efforts on children’s issues.


5. There is a reference in paragraphs 172-176 of the Secretary General’s Report to the impact of left wing extremist armed groups on children in India. This is a very serious issue which the Government of India has addressed as a priority. India believes that through a combination of development and security related interventions, the left wing extremists’ problem can be tackled. We do not underestimate the challenge, but we are committed to redress this situation through a combination of law and robust policy initiatives. The Indian National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, set up in 2007 is one of the few commissions of its kind in Asia. It ensures that actions taken in India are in consonance with our Constitution, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989.


6. If governments of member states need assistance in strengthening their capacities and resources to tackle this problem, all of us in the United Nations must demonstrate our willingness and commitment to rendering such assistance. India, which this month marks the 50th anniversary of sharing our development experience with our partner countries in the developing world, reiterates our readiness to doing so.


7.  We note that among the recommendations included in the report of Secretary General is a call for an independent access by the UN for the purpose of monitoring and reporting on grave violations against children, and facilitating contact between the UN and non-state armed groups for dialogue. We believe that the United Nations should only act in cooperation with the government of the concerned member state, especially now that we have an empowered institution that we unanimously agreed to establish at the 60th anniversary Summit of the United Nations in 2005, which is the Human Rights Council. We note in this context that the Human Rights Council has already completed its first round of the Universal Periodic Review of all 193 member states of the United Nations.


8. With respect to the interface of the United Nations and non-state actors, Madam President, we would note that non-state actors are not bound by any legal obligations or commitments, and any proposed interface with them is therefore open ended. It would be more effective for the Council to recommend the strict application of the rule of law as a deterrence to armed non-state groups, especially for the investigation and prosecution of those non-state actors who are inveigling children into armed conflict or violating the fundamental human rights of children in armed conflict with impunity.


Madam President,

9. We are dismayed that, despite the clearly spelt out provisions of OP16 of UNSCR 1379, the report of the Secretary General has selectively included issues that do not appear relevant to threats to the maintenance of international peace and security. This needlessly diverts the attention and resources which are needed to address the core issue being debated today. The selective inclusion in sub-section B of the Secretary General’s Report of only countries from the developing world, in our view, is a dangerous approach. The impact of violent extremism, recruitment and radicalization of children, use of children to commit violent acts, as well as incidents of armed attacks on schools which are listed in this section, cannot be confined only to the developing world. These occur in developed countries, too, and need to be addressed in a global framework.


Madam President,

10. We have referred to UNSCR 1379, which was adopted in 2001. Since then, we have established the Peacebuilding Commission. Perhaps the Security Council should review the provisions of UNSCR 1379 to provide a more direct role for Peacebuilding activities to include provisions for protection of children.


11. An area where India has been at the forefront of implementing this Council’s decisions on the topic of our debate today is through our participation in the UN Peacekeeping Operations. Based on the experience we have garnered as the largest contributor to these Operations, we must express concern at the lack of resources to implement all the provisions of these mandates. At the very basic level, we need to ensure that more Child Protection Advisors are deployed in these Operations. On a broader level, we expect the Council to take advantage of the two current parallel Review processes underway of United Nations Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding activities. Both these are directly under the ambit of the Council. The objective should be to use the provisions and resources of peacebuilding activities in a more proactive and sustainable manner. This would apply especially to guaranteeing the safe return of children impacted by armed conflict, and the sustainability of their demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration into society.


Thank You.