International children’s charity World Vision UK welcomes Friday’s appointment (13th July 2012) of Ms. Leila Zerrougui as the new Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.
World Vision is committed to supporting Ms Zerrougui in her work to protect children from the impacts of armed conflict, but says the UK government must also play its part to ensure her work is successful.
This includes maintaining the UK’s strong presence on the UN Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict and continuing DFID and Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for programmes that reduce the impacts of conflict on children.
Erica Hall, Senior Child Rights Policy Advisor for World Vision UK, said:
“With children making up about half of the estimated 26 million people currently displaced by armed conflict and violence, Ms. Zerrougui’s new role has never been more vital and the UK government must do all it can to support her in it.
“Progress has been made, however children and young people continue to be targeted by armed forces and groups and victimised by small arms violence around the world.
“The far reaching consequences of armed conflict for children, including forced displacement, sexual exploitation and abuse, and the weakening of protection systems, continue long after conflicts end.
“We are confident Ms. Zerrougui will be successful in her role to help protect children living in some of the world’s toughest contexts and are looking forward to working with her to make it a reality.”
Ms. Zerrougui will be building on the achievements of Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, who leaves the post at the end of the month.
World Vision would like to thank Ms. Coomarswamy for her dedication and effectiveness over the past six years to improve the lives of children in some of the world’s hardest places.
World Vision is grateful for her passion and commitment to protect and promote the rights of children affected by conflict, and particularly for her support for the international conference on the subject convened by World Vision at Wilton Park in March 2012.
17 July 2012