Chargé d’affaires Leila C. Lora – Santos emphasizes that children are zones of peace at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC)
UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK, 05 July 2023 — Chargé d’affaires and Deputy Permanent Representative Leila C. Lora-Santos reaffirmed the Philippines’ commitment to protect children in situations of armed conflict at the UN Security Council Open Debate on the theme “Children and armed conflict: how to prevent and respond to grave violations against children in armed conflict.”
Chargé d’affaires, a.i. and Deputy Permanent Representative Lora-Santos highlighted the whole-of-government approach on children issues, particularly in preventing and addressing grave violations committed against children. These programs and policies, among others, include the implementation of the Children in Situations of Armed Conflict Law (CSAC Law), the incorporation of the children in armed conflict agenda in the Bangsamoro Children’s Code in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and the establishment of the National Policy Framework on Learners and Schools as Zones of Peace.
“Children are zones of peace. This is a central principle in our CSAC Law. It means that everyone is required to preserve the peaceful integrity of children, exemplify mutual respect and non-violent behavior in the presence of children and resolve all armed conflicts that cause damage to children. At all times, even during armed conflict, the human rights and best interests of the children are the primary consideration in any decision-making,” stressed Chargé d’affaires Lora-Santos. She also noted the importance of a whole-of-society approach in protecting children from armed conflict as well as in preventing armed conflict, and peacebuilding in general.
The open debate was held under the Security Council presidency of the United Kingdom. Member States, including non-Security Council members, participated in the meeting to express their continued commitment to child protection, and to ensure that the safety and well-being of children remain an important Security Council agenda. END