26 September 2008
Children and Armed Conflict: Australia Endorses Paris Principles and Commitments
Today at the United Nations I attended a Ministerial meeting on child soldiers, co-chaired by the French Minister of State responsible for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights, Ms Rama Yade, UNICEF Executive Director, Ms Ann M Veneman, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms Radhika Coomaraswamy.
At the meeting, I announced Australia’s endorsement of the Paris Principles and Commitments, goals aimed at addressing the issue of children affected by armed conflict.
I also announced that Australia will allocate $200,000 to support UNICEF's work in the area of child protection for children adversely affected by armed conflict.
This contribution will support UNICEF activities aimed at preventing and responding to unlawful child recruitment and the use of children by armed forces and armed groups.
Australia places the highest priority on protecting children. We remain deeply concerned about the plight of children affected by armed conflicts, and we remain dedicated to ensuring the protection of all children from harm and exploitation.
Australia’s endorsement of the Paris Principles and Commitments, together with our ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, demonstrates our commitment to the protection of children affected by armed conflict.
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