The Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Vincenzo Grassi, took the floor today during the interactive dialogue with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, in the framework of the 52nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Ambassador Grassi reaffirmed Italy’s full support for the mandate of the Special Representative and expressed concern about the violations and abuses against children affected by armed conflicts that continue to occur in many countries around the world, as witnessed by the most recent events in Ukraine. She therefore called on all States and parties to the conflict to systematically address these grave violations and continue to engage with the Special Representative to end and prevent such crimes.
In addition, Ambassador Grassi expressed deep concern about the increasing barriers to access to education for children during armed conflicts, which expose them to further violence, exploitation, and abuse, and have an impact on their future. ”It is imperative that we fulfill our obligations under International Humanitarian Law in protecting educational facilities and their staff, as outlined by the principles contained in the Safe Schools Declaration, which we urge all United Nations Member States to endorse it” the Ambassador said.
Finally, the Permanent Representative stressed the importance for the international community to continue to prioritize the issue of protecting children affected by conflict on the international agenda and thus contribute to achieving the common goals of global peace and security.