Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at an “Arria-Formula” VTC of UNSC members “Children and Armed Conflict. Repatriation of Children from Conflict Zones: from Camps to Homes”
Excellencies, dear colleagues
The Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the UN and Special Representative of the Secretary-General V.Gamba convene today an “Arria-Formula” meeting of the Security Council on an issue of paramount importance – protection of children in armed conflict with a focus on the aspect of repatriation of children from conflict zones and their reintegration into society.
In various countries around the world engulfed in hostilities children – members of families of former fighters or terrorists – face brutal violence and find themselves in dire humanitarian situations. The COVID-19 pandemic further negatively impacts these children as it prevents their repatriation and reunification with family members.
Let me underline that states have the duty under international law, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child to repatriate their nationals and to take steps to prevent children of their nationals from becoming stateless. States should assume primary responsibility to protect these children and ensure their safe return home. I would like to remind that the best interest of children should always be a primary consideration.
Rehabilitation and reintegration are crucial aspects of the international agenda today. Russian Federation as well as other countries make meaningful efforts in this regard. We believe such examples should serve as inspiration for other states.
We call on the international community and the UN agencies to cooperate closely to support repatriation and reintegration of children from conflict zones.
This meeting provides an opportunity to discuss difficulties and challenges of the process of repatriation of children, possible ways of strengthening international cooperation in this field as well as what can be done by the United Nations Security Council in fostering progress to that end.
Closing remarks by Deputy Permanent Representative Gennady Kuzmin:
This ends our discussion at today’s meeting. On behalf of the Russian Federation I thank all co-organizers, briefers and participants. We discussed a really important topic and very important problems. I hope we will come to certain conclusions. As usual, we will try to summarize our discussion and distribute it among the participants and general membership of the United Nations. Thank you for your contribution.