Under Belgian impulse, the Security Council shows unity in the fight against children’s rights violations in Myanmar

On July 30th, the UN Security Council (UNSC) Working Group on Children and Armed Conflicts, presided by Belgium since 1 January, adopted conclusions by consensus on the situation of children in the armed conflict in Myanmar. For the first time in a long time, the Security Council is sending out a strong signal about the situation in Myanmar and the violations of children’s rights in particular. The Security Council calls on those responsible, including the army of Myanmar, to put an end to the violations and to prevent new ones. Moreover, the UNSC requires independent and impartial investigations and prosecutions of violations to hold perpetrators accountable and requests the country to cooperate with the UN to take action. Our country led the negotiations on this text with recommendations.

In the coming months, Belgium will lead the negotiations within the UN Security Council on how to deal with children’s rights violations in Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Central African Republic. Earlier this month, a consensus was reached on this already with regard to Syria.

The fight against impunity has long been one of Belgium’s foreign policy priorities. The Belgian Presidency of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflicts is an illustrations of this commitment. Our country also plays a leading role in the fight against children’s rights violations in armed conflicts outside the UN Security Council.

More than twenty years after the Machel report on the impact of armed conflicts on children, attention and action remain essential. Belgium remains fully engaged on that front.