UNITED NATIONS—The United Nations Security Council held an open debate Tuesday entitled “Children and Armed Conflict”, which was presided over by the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and attended by the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other foreign ministers. Delegations presented positions on the significant issue which focused on the growing trend of attacks on schools and hospitals impacting the lives of children. The Secretary General in his relevant report presented to the Security Council, emphasized the need that the Council should expand the list of violators to include parties that use or threaten to use force against schools and hospitals.
The Armenian and Azerbaijani delegations were among the 49 member states that spoke at the Security Council. While not referring to Armenia or Artsakh specifically, Azerbaijani delegation made statements in regard to the effects of armed conflict on children.
Following this debate, Armenian Ambassador to the UN Garen Nazarian reminded the Council that his country hosted tens of thousands of refugee children as a result of war and aggression. He mentioned this debate has a particular importance for his Government since in early 1990’s innocent civilians particularly Armenian children were subjected to the barrage of heavy artillery, missile shelling, and bombing.
He further added that Armenians have witnessed indiscriminate fire at their homes, kindergartens and educational institutions, hospitals and even ambulances. The Armenian Ambassador mentioned that “Armenia believes concerted actions are necessary on national, regional and international levels as to put an end to these kinds of brutal actions and policies.” In the course of the debate he welcomed the adoption of the resolution by the Security Council and added that the this main body of the UN should focus on the application of targeted measures and possible sanction against persistent perpetrators of grave violations against children.
The 2011 Armenian Mission of the United Nations interns were also present at the debate.
The 2011 Summer Internship Program of the Permanent Mission of Armenian to the United Nations participants are: Garineh Ashjian (Boston, MA); Sosse Beugekian (Boston, MA); Natalie Demirdjian (Tampa, Florida); Christine Maydossian (Toranto, Canada); Andre Arzoo (Los Angeles, CA); and Narine Atamian (New York, NY).