UN / CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT PRESSER

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27-Jun-2023 00:04:58
In 2022, children continued to be disproportionately affected by armed conflict. The United Nations verified over 27,000 grave violations, impacting close to 19,000 boys and girls in 24 country situations and one regional monitoring arrangement that covers the Lake Chad Basin, the latest edition of the annual UN report says. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / CHILDREN ARMED CONFLICT PRESSER
TRT: 04:58
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 27 JUNE 2023, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior UN Headquarters

27 JUNE 2023, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict:
“In 2022 children continued to be disproportionately affected by armed conflict. We had 27 180 grave violations against 18,890 children. About two thirds of them boys, a third – girls.”
4. Med shot, briefing room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict:
“This reinforces the importance to work on the prevention of grave violations and the provision of holistic reintegration support for all children affected by conflict. When we add the number of incidents of attacks on schools and hospitals and the denial of humanitarian access, which are the two collective grave violations against children, the number of grave violations reaches more than 27,000.”
6. Med shot, journalist asking question
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict:
“In Ukraine, the Secretary-General decided to list the Russian Armed Forces and affiliated armed groups under Section B of Annex 2 for attacks on schools and hospitals, and for killing of children. In particular, through the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery, multiple launch rocket systems, missiles and airstrikes in populated areas, which resulted in a very high number of casualties and the destruction of infrastructures.”
8. Med shot, journalist asking question
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict:
“The Secretary-General decided to also warn the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Section Five owing to the high number of children killed and maimed in of attacks on schools and hospitals attributed to them. While we are aware that Ukraine's military actions are in response to Russia's aggression, the CAAC mandate applies to all parties to conflict and whether grave violations are committed during offensive or defensive operations.”
10. Close up, journalist asking question
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict:
“In Israel and the State of Palestine, the Secretary-General did not list any parties to the conflict. Last year in his annual report, the Secretary General stated explicitly that, and I quote, 'should substantial airstrikes and rockets resulting from the main 2021 escalation of hostilities repeat itself in 2022, parties to the conflict should be listed.' The Secretary-General also called on parties to the conflict to engage with me to identify practical measures to protect children and end grave violations.”
12. Med shot, Gamba
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict:
“We also noted an important decrease in airstrikes by Israeli forces from 598 airstrikes in 2021 to 52 in 2022. The whole purpose of the CAAC mandate as given by the Security Council is to engage with parties to create a change in the behavior of parties and strengthen the protection of children.”
14. Med shot, journalist asking question
SOUNDBITE (English) Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict:
“And you have to also remember that this is not like a movie. The Annual Report depicts a moment in time and a decision taken for a number of reasons. Mostly, the reasons for decisions have to do with patterns, that are escalating patterns or decreasing patterns. Decreasing patterns must be accompanied with commitments that are full in writing and formal about the willingness to put in place measures to better protect children. When these types of formal commitments are put in place, and then there is a pattern of decrease, following that against that party, then the Secretary-General can take decisions.”
15. Zoom out, briefing room

STORYLINE:

In 2022, children continued to be disproportionately affected by armed conflict. The United Nations verified over 27,000 grave violations, impacting close to 19,000 boys and girls in 24 country situations and one regional monitoring arrangement that covers the Lake Chad Basin.

Briefing journalists today (27 June) in New York on the annual report on children and armed conflict, published earlier today, Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), said, “This reinforces the importance to work on the prevention of grave violations and the provision of holistic reintegration support for all children affected by conflict.”

She explained, “When we add the number of incidents of attacks on schools and hospitals and the denial of humanitarian access, which are the two collective grave violations against children, the number of grave violations reaches more than 27,000.”

The UN official said, “In Ukraine, the Secretary-General decided to list the Russian Armed Forces and affiliated armed groups under Section B of Annex 2 for attacks on schools and hospitals, and for killing of children. In particular, through the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery, multiple launch rocket systems, missiles and airstrikes in populated areas, which resulted in a very high number of casualties and the destruction of infrastructures.”

She added that the Secretary-General “decided to also warn the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Section Five owing to the high number of children killed and maimed in of attacks on schools and hospitals attributed to them.”

Gamba continued, “While we are aware that Ukraine's military actions are in response to Russia's aggression, the CAAC mandate applies to all parties to conflict and whether grave violations are committed during offensive or defensive operations.”

“In Israel and the State of Palestine,” she said, “the Secretary-General did not list any parties to the conflict.”

The Special Representative continued, “Last year in his annual report, the Secretary-General stated explicitly that, and I quote, “should substantial airstrikes and rockets resulting from the main 2021 escalation of hostilities repeat itself in 2022, parties to the conflict should be listed.”

Gamba said, “The Secretary-General also called on parties to the conflict to engage with me to identify practical measures to protect children and end grave violations.”

According to Gamba, “We also noted an important decrease in airstrikes by Israeli forces from 598 airstrikes in 2021 to 52 in 2022.”

She noted, “The whole purpose of the CAAC mandate as given by the Security Council is to engage with parties to create a change in the behavior of parties and strengthen the protection of children.”

Answering questions on the Secretary-General’s decisions, she explained, “you have to also remember that this is not like a movie. The Annual Report depicts a moment in time and a decision taken for a number of reasons.”

Gamba continued, “Mostly, the reasons for decisions have to do with patterns, that are escalating patterns or decreasing patterns.”

“Decreasing patterns,” she added, “must be accompanied with commitments that are full in writing and formal about the willingness to put in place measures to better protect children. When these types of formal commitments are put in place, and then there is a pattern of decrease, following that against that party, then the Secretary-General can take decisions.”

According to the report, the highest numbers of grave violations were verified in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Israel and the State of Palestine, Somalia, Syrian, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Yemen.

The countries where “the worst deterioration” occurred were Myanmar, South Sudan, and Burkina Faso.

Gamba also added that situations in Haiti and Niger are of growing concern.
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