UN official calls for universal ratification of a treaty to stop use of child soldiersListen /
States that have not signed and ratified a global treaty to stop the use of child soldiers have been urged to do so as the General Assembly holds its 68th session.
The appeal has come from Leila Zerrougui, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.
Ms. Zerrougui spoke to reporters on Thursday about the upcoming Annual Treaty Event starting next week which will focus on the rights of the child.
She said as of today, 152 Member States have ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
“Twenty have signed but not ratified and 22 have neither signed nor ratified. So, we are very close to universal ratification. I invite all States who have not committed to the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict to use the opportunity of this year's treaty event to ratify. Universal ratification brings us one step closer to a world without child soldiers." (29")
Ms. Zerrougui said the children of the world deserve the protection.
According to the UN Children's agency (UNICEF) an estimated 300,000 children around the world are engaged in armed conflict, with tragic consequences.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.