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Kuwait concerned over Syrian children’s rights violations

DOUMA: Syrian children sit on a luggage bag before a mural on a wall bearing the logo of the Syrian Red Crescent at the organization’s branch in Douma in the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta on the eastern outskirts of the capital Damascus yesterday prior to their evacuation with other humanitarian cases to the government-controlled Wafidin crossing. — AFP

GENEVA: The State of Kuwait yesterday voiced extreme concern over Syrian children’s rights violations. Addressing the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), held between November 26 and March 24, Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to the UN and Other International Organizations in Geneva Ambassador Jamal Al-Ghunaim regretted that Syrian children know nothing about life but death, and, unfortunately, are denied the rights of childhood and future.
Many of them have been killed or wounded in air strikes and military attacks on their houses and schools, and regrettably deprived of basic rights, including medical care, he lamented. He called on the international community to exert more efforts to protect Syrian children, given that six million children inside and outside Syria are in dire need of direct humanitarian aid, especially in the fields of education and medical care.

Syrian generations to come are hoped to build their own nation, to restore national unity and to launch sustainable development, he reminded. Since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis, the State of Kuwait has shouldered its due responsibility towards the Syrian people, and sought from the very beginning to rally up international support for carrying out humanitarian operations and extending aid to host countries, Ghunaim said.

It has also hosted and co-chaired several international conferences mainly aiming at support the Syrian people, he said, hoping that the 2nd Brussels conference in April on humanitarian needs in Syria and the region would be successful. He recalled to memory the call launched by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah during the donors conference in London on a fresh necessary strategy to help Syrian displaced persons and refugees.

This strategy is built on the adoption of programs and plans purposed to provide them with chances for learning and determining their own future, the Kuwaiti diplomat pointed out. However, he regretted the international community’s failure to respond to the humanitarian sufferings and woes of the Syrian people through an effective political solution to the Syrian crisis.

The State of Kuwait emphatically condemns all serious violations of human rights in Syria, mentioned in an independent probe committee’s report discussed at the UNHRC, he said. He quoted the report as indicating blatant violations of the international humanitarian law and international human rights law, something which requires international action against surging war crimes committed against Syrians.

The State of Kuwait further deplores repeated attacks on medical and infrastructure facilities in Syria, not to mention indiscriminate use of heavy weapons and air raids, Ghunaim added. Furthermore, the Kuwaiti diplomat renewed Kuwait’s call for giving all humanitarian workers of UN agencies and other aid organizations easy access to all Syrian territories, including Eastern Ghouta.

Ghunaim reiterated Kuwait’s unwavering commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, while urging everyone to work with UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura’s efforts to restore peace and security to this war-hit Arab country. The State of Kuwait backs the UN envoy’s efforts to reach an agreement based on Geneva principles and UN Security Council Resolution 2254, while stressing the necessity of holding up the cessation of hostilities and creating an effective and practical surveillance mechanism meant to provide a congenial atmosphere for the aspired political solution, he concluded.

Resolution 2401
Fifteen days have passed since the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2401 but the parties to the conflict in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta failed to adhere to 30-day ceasefire, Kuwait’s Representative to the UN said Monday.

Regrettably, the conflict continues and the aid workers are unable to rescue the nearly 400,000 civilians trapped in the besieged enclave, Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi said in a statement to a UNSC session on the Resolution 2401. The resolution, co-sponsored by Kuwait and Sweden and unanimously adopted on February 24, demands parties to Syria’s seven-year-long conflict to cease hostilities without delay for at least 30 consecutive days, and enable weekly humanitarian aid deliveries and medical evacuations of the critically sick and wounded. However, the UN aid workers and partners were unable over the last two weeks to safely reach the needy people in Eastern Ghouta which has been besieged by the Syrian regular forces since 2013, Ambassador Al-Otaibi regretted.

March 5 was the bloodiest day for Douma city, in Eastern Ghouta since the adoption of the UNSC resolution, he said, noting that more than 100 people were killed in airstrikes by the Syrian regime on that day. The continued airstrikes on Douma and other areas aroused profound concern of the international community and forced the UN aid convoys to stop deliveries to starving people, he pointed out.

Ambassador Otaibi urged all parties to the conflict, particularly the Syrian government, to provide the necessary guarantees for the aid workers to resume aid delivery and medical evacuations immediately. He warned that without a political settlement to the conflict the humanitarian situation in Syria could further worsen, thus leading to more deaths and destruction. – KUNA

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