Delivered on 13 March 2018

Delivered by Her Excellency Dr Hala Hameed, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Maldives to the United Nations Office at Geneva

Thank you, Mr. President,

My delegation thanks the distinguished panellists for sharing their insights on this imperative issue.

Today’s High-Level panel discussion on human rights of children in Syria, is one that is especially saddening and emotionally distressing.

Mr. President,

Over 2.8 million children are living as refugees, or, are on the run-in search of safety and are in immediate need of humanitarian aid, 1.5 million children are no longer in school. These numbers are harrowing and alarming. Further, several hospitals, markets, local shops, and schools have been demolished over the recent years. This has led to limited or no access to water, food, and vital supplies for children and infants, and no medical care, in addition to the loss of their homes for those living directly within the war zones.

Children in besieged Syria are in despair; in trauma, as they witness their loved ones lose their lives under systematic violence that has become an everyday reality. This is the bitter truth the children of Syria face every day, living their childhood in a war torn country. An entire generation is suffering psychologically due to indiscriminate violence; an entire generation is losing hope for peace, dignity and the value of human life.

Mr. President,

It is our humanitarian duty, at this Council, as a matter of urgency, to facilitate any help possible and ring the alarm bells loud and clear so that they may also be heard by the victims, by the suffering children, as a glimpse of assurance that they are not forgotten, that the world has not left them alone in their fight for survival.

The Maldives aligns with every effort of this Council to bring hope for the people of Syria, especially the innocent children, and stands in solidarity with the on-going humanitarian efforts to de-escalate the situation in Syria. We only emphasize the urgency.

Thank you, Mr. President.