NATO stands with the international community to better protect conflict-affected children
“NATO has long recognized that protecting children in conflict is an important aspect of any comprehensive strategy to resolve conflict and a key component of durable peace and security,” Ms Clare Hutchinson, NATO High Level Focal Point for Children and Armed Conflict, noted on Tuesday (23 June 2020) in her written address to the United Nations Security Council open debate on Children and Armed Conflict.
NATO has undertaken practical field-oriented measures to protect children in harm’s way since the 2012 Chicago Summit. As part of the Resolute Support Mission (RSM), NATO promotes child protection principles in its training and capacity-building and has actively supported the development of the Afghan National Army Child Protection Policy. A Senior Child Protection Adviser has been in place with RSM since 2016.
On the fifteenth anniversary of the landmark Security Council Resolution 1612 on Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Hutchinson recognised the progress made in better protecting children in conflict and stressed that more can and should be done for the most vulnerable in war.
“A key measure of any successful policy, however, is its impact on the ground where children are in harm’s way,” Ms. Hutchinson said. “We continue to reach out to the Afghan Security Forces and our UN and NGO partners to ensure that training and policy goals to better protect children are maintained and deepened, and to reinforce our political commitment.”
Ms. Hutchinson concluded by affirming that “NATO stands with the international community in recognizing that we all have a collective responsibility in guaranteeing that all children, everywhere, are protected, not only in word but also in deed.”