Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., says there is a dire need to address the funding gaps for the rehabilitation and reintegration of children affected by armed conflicts globally. He is Liberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, and Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
Kemayah said adequate funding will support governments, regional and sub-regional organizations in building child and social protection capacity, and formulating prevention strategies.
He described as regrettable, the record rise in the abduction; killing and maiming of children globally, as well as attacks on schools, hospitals, and the denial of humanitarian access to children in armed-related conflicts.
“The uncomfortable truth remains that, the scale and severity of the violations being committed against children continue to be unabated in several regions of the world with wanton disregard for international law, as well as international norms with the future of millions of the children living in countries affected by armed conflict remaining at risk. This situation deserves utmost reflection,” he said.
A dispatch from the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations quotes Amb. Kemayah as calling for priority to be placed on addressing the root causes of conflict to ensure prevention.
Kemayah made the statement when he spoke at the 10th United Nations Security Council Open Debate on Children in Armed Conflict on Friday, August 2, 2019, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
He called on on the Council to reinforce its provision that all parties to armed conflicts must adhere to the obligations applicable to them under international law. He underscored the importance of the 10th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1882 on Children and Armed Conflict (2009).
Amb. Kemayah used the debate to highlight that Liberia, having transitioned from conflict to peace, and considering its huge youthful population, has developed through its National Flagship Development Plan-The Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) programs to strengthen child and social protection.
He added, “Within the ambit of PAPD, the Liberian government, under President George Weah, espouses the promotion of democracy, good governance, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law.
Hence, having transitioned from conflict to peace, and considering that the youth, which constitutes 63% of “our population are the building blocks for the sustainability of Peace, Security, Democracy and Development in our country, the government has at the core of its PAPD programs to strengthen child and social protection.”
Amb. Kemayah further said that the programs are also complemented by other child-related initiatives in Liberia to include, but not limited to the enactment of the “Children’s Law,” and the establishment of the Women and Children Protection Section at the Liberia National Police.
He then commended the hard work of Ms. Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, and particularly lauded the new initiative launched in April of this year under the campaign: “ACT to Protect Children Affected by Armed Conflict.”
“This initiative seeks to generate greater awareness, and action to improve the protection of children affected by armed conflict,” Kemayah said.
He expressed the government’s support to the Act to Protect Children Affected by Armed Conflict.