Egypt rep. to UN in Geneva regrets UNHRC disregard for Palestinian children under Israeli occupation

Ahram Online , Saturday 6 Apr 2024

Egypt’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Ahmed Ihab Gamaleldin expressed regret that the draft resolution, adopted by the 55th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), disregarded the conditions of Palestinian children under Israeli occupation.

Ambassador Ahmed Ihab Gamaleldin
Ambassador Ahmed Ihab Gamaleldin


The HRC55, which concluded on Friday, adopted a resolution on children presented by the European Union (EU) and the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC).

The resolution stresses that all children have the right to social security and recognizes the obligations of states to ensure their access to inclusive social protection, according to the EU.

Gamaleldin underlined that in light of the recent atrocities and the grave violations of the rights of the child, business cannot proceed as usual while children are being mercilessly killed daily.

Israel has killed over 33,000 Palestinians, most of whom are children and women, in the Gaza Strip since 7 October.

The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza indicated that more than 12,300 children died in the Palestinian territory between last October and the end of February.

United Nations numbers show that 12,193 children had been killed in conflicts worldwide between 2019 and 2022.

He stressed that the council’s decisions “must reflect the conditions of children on the ground and not just ink on paper.”

Gamaleldin also denounced the lack of support from a large number of sponsors of the resolution for a joint statement on the unprecedented violations of the rights of the child in the occupied Palestinian territory during the Human Rights Council session.

“The pioneers of human rights need to walk the talk and condemn the killings of children everywhere and that walking the talk entails standing up against atrocities wherever they occur,” he emphasized.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian representative underscored that listening to voices from Africa and Asia, their solutions and tools to reach the same aims of the Convention of the Rights of the Child is not a luxury in a universal UN entity.

“Our peoples, cultures and their ways of living are different, and as long as we seek the same aim, all ideas should be respected.”

The council, he stressed, has no place to claim cultural superiority on any topic.

“The recent events have taught us that this feeling of cultural superiority tends to cloud the judgment of countries and could affect countries’ vision regarding which children deserve our sympathy,” he continued.

Gamaleldin also emphasized the importance of having “family-oriented policies” when addressing children’s rights, which includes providing support to the parents and caregivers to be able to deliver the necessary care for their children.

“It is difficult, if not impossible, to improve the child's rights without strengthening the context in which he/she lives,” he pointed out.

He underlined, as well, the importance of aligning the language of the draft resolution presented to the council with international human rights law, particularly the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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