5 OCTOBER 2017: The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General is appalled that more than 8,000 children were killed and maimed in conflict situations in 2016. These unacceptable attacks on children, as well as the continued widespread recruitment and use of children, attacks on schools and hospitals, and sexual violence against children, are detailed in his annual report on children and armed conflict.
The goal of the report is not only to raise awareness of the violations of the rights of children, but also to promote measures that can diminish the tragic plight of children in conflict. The Secretary-General is encouraged that several Governments and non-State actors are now working with the United Nations towards that objective. He hopes that more will follow.
The new Developments & Concerns section included in the report reflects this enhanced United Nations engagement, which should lead to reducing the suffering of children victims of armed conflict and increase their protection. These changes are also reflected in the annexes to the report, which separate those parties who have put in place measures to improve protection of children during the reporting period and those who have not implemented adequate measures.
The Secretary-General once more urges parties to conflict to abide by their responsibility to protect children, in accordance with their obligation under international humanitarian and human rights law. He calls on all parties to conflict to engage with the United Nations to improve the protection of children in line with the relevant Security Council resolutions.