UN high-level week: How to stop the War on Children
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for the opportunity to speak at this important event.
I would also like to thank the child delegates for being here and for sharing their stories. I myself have children at home, a daughter and a son, who are the same age as you are. It really make a deep impression to hear you speak. It reminds us how important it is to take action on this very important issue.
The Norwegian Government is very concerned about the continued increase in verified violations and abuses against children affected by conflict. This trend can and must be reversed.
Let me highlight some initiatives Norway is taking to alleviate the suffering children endure as a result of conflict.
First, Norway is one of the major donors to global mine action. The use of improvised mines has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of casualties. In 2017, children accounted for 47 % of recorded casualties. In November, Norway will host the fourth Review Conference of the Mine Ban Convention. I look forward to attending that conference.
Second, the continued silence and stigma related to sexual and gender-based violence is of particular concern. Children and young people are often affected.
The conference «Ending sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian crises» held in Oslo this May sent a strong message that strengthening prevention of and response to this severe challenge is a priority.
Third, the Safe Schools Declaration launched in Oslo in 2015 now has endorsement from 95 states. The main objective is to prevent military use and stop attacks on schools during armed conflicts. We are encouraged by the positive response and the joint efforts to ensure safe access to education for children who grow up in conflict zones.
The international community should join forces to ensure that children in armed conflict get the protection and opportunities they are entitled to.
Thank you for your attention.