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Viet Nam highlights children protection at UNSC’s debate
07-21-2008, 03:51 pm

New York (VNA) – Vietnam, as the President of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in July, has organised an open debate, highlighting the protection of children from armed conflicts and the council’s role in the issue.

Addressing the debate in New York on July 17, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem said the debate looked to “strengthening the commitment and efforts of the UNSC, the UN and the international community at large towards achieving a long-term and sustained solution to the issue of children affected by armed conflicts.”

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem and Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

He also said that Vietnam was the second country in the world and the first in Asia to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“A country where generations of children had suffered immensely from the scourge of war, Vietnam is committed to defending and promoting the best interests of children in every circumstance and our concerns for children affected by armed conflicts are beyond conventional reasoning,” he stressed.

The UNSC’s actions have made progress, with thousands of children associated with armed groups released, and child protection has been incorporated in the mandates of a number of UN peacekeeping and political missions, he said.

The Vietnamese diplomat underscored a comprehensive strategy that has a dual objective of preventing armed conflicts and protecting children from being affected by armed conflicts.

The strategy “must include promoting sustainable development, poverty eradication, national reconciliation, and reintegration of children associated with armed forces and armed groups,” he said.

He highlighted the coordination of member countries, concern parties, countries, regional organisations and the UN to successfully implement the strategy.

The same day, Deputy PM Khiem had a conversation with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, who congratulated Vietnam ’s achievements in economic reform, saying Vietnam was a good example for other developing countries.

He expressed his concern about climate change, food and energy crisis, and said he hoped to see Vietnam ’s support to the UN’s efforts to deal with the issues.

He thanked Vietnam for its close cooperation in implementing “One UN” initiative.

Also during his stay in New York , Deputy PM Khiem received UN General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Swaziland Moses Mathendele Dlamini, US Ambassador to UN Zalmey Khalizad, and UN Special Envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari.

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