H.E. Mr. Rashid Abdullah Al-Noaimi
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates

at the
Twenty-Seventh Special Session of the
United Nations General Assembly on Children

New York
 9 May 2002

In The Name of God the Most Merciful

Mr. President,

   On behalf of the United Arab Emirates delegation, I have the honor to extend to you our congratulations for your election as the president of this important special session, and wish you success.
  We also would like to express our appreciation for the efforts exerted by the United Nations Children's Fund, "UNICEF", and its partners, to improve the quality of life for children around the world.

Mr. President,
   Despite all the positive achievements on national, regional and international levels to advance the stature of children in accordance with the proclamations and Plan of Action of the World Summit for Children, millions of children, especially those in under-developed countries, are still living in dire social and economical conditions. They suffer from poverty, malnutrition, epidemic diseases, illiteracy, unemployment, and the deterioration of their environment. These conditions are aggravated by the debt crises and a recession in governmental and non-governmental developmental assistance, provided to them by donor countries and regional and international developmental financial organizations. This suffering is further aggravated as a consequence of regional conflicts, occupation and human rights violations.
In that regard, recent international statistics indicate that the number of children's deaths has exceeded 10 million cases, and that the number of children deprived of education, approaches 100 million, of which, 60% are females. The statistics also indicate that millions of children are homeless and have no access to food, proper drinking water or the appropriate health care.

Mr. President,
   Recognizing that regional and international collaboration is essential to contain these problems through the implementation of the Plan of Action of the World Summit for Children and the obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in order to confront the huge challenges that face the provision of the simplest elements for natural humanitarian development to millions of underprivileged children around the world, we stress the fact that it is very important that all countries should bear their national responsibility to deal with these conditions and the negative impact they have on national and regional stability and security.
   We also call upon developed countries as well as international financial and development organizations to implement their commitments and their pledges towards the provision of multi-purpose assistance for developing countries, in particular the neediest of countries, to help in rebuilding their infrastructure, especially in relation to issues concerning child and family affairs, educational facilities, health and food care.
In the same direction, we ask that children should not be exploited in military and armed disputes, or in drug trafficking, human organs sale, hard labor or any other acts which violate human values and humanitarian rules, religious beliefs or the cultural heritage of people.

Mr. President,
   While we gather in this assembly to work on implementing the declaration and Plan of Action of the World Summit for Children, we have to point out that Palestinian children are being killed and mutilated physically and emotionally, every day, by the Israeli military forces, such as the child victims: Muhammad Aldura and the little girl Iman Hajjour and other Palestinian children. We wonder why the international community and, in particular, the Security Council is ignoring international calls for protecting Palestinian people and especially Palestinian children from these criminal violations.
We would like to stress, to this forum, the urgency of providing immediate international protection of Palestinian children to ensure their safety and well-being like other children in the world, in compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the declarations of International Law and the Geneva Convention.
In the same context, we ask for relief from the inhumane suffering imposed on the children of Iraq who face daily tragedies as a consequence of the sanctions imposed on their country.

Mr. President,
   Upon the noble directives from His Highness Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahian, the ruler of the United Arab Emirates, May God protect him, who believes that building the human being requires providing the necessary care and attention for the youths who are considered the nucleus for families, society and the state as a whole, the state of The United Arab Emirates has made available all physical and moral resources, nationally and internationally, to promote the child and develop his personal skills and abilities.
    On the national level, the state has enacted laws and legislations to promote the status of child and mother. For instance, paragraph number 16 of the constitution provides for securing free care for the child and his mother and for the disabled who are incapable of looking after themselves. These laws also stipulate that education should be obligatory for the elementary period and be free for all other stages of education.

Mr. President,
   The United Arab Emirates is well aware of the importance of advancing the health and well-being of the child, thus providing health care for the child and his family, so they will grow up capable of helping the country in the ongoing process of development.
   The active role in child and women affairs, played by the wife of His Highness the ruler, of the state, Her Highness Sheika Fatmah bint M'barak, on the national and international level, can not be over emphasized.
   The High Council of Childhood and Motherhood, was formed in The United Arab Emirates in order to achieve the goals consistent with Her Highness' convictions in this regard
Recognizing the importance of international collaboration in this field, the United Arab Emirates has joined the Convention on the Right of the Child, in 1996, in conformity with the4 cultural heritages and religious beliefs, mindful of the wide range of changes that were happening in international relations in regard to child's affairs.

Mr. President,
   Stressing the need to lift the suffering from developing countries, collaborating with friendly countries and implementing the declaration and the Plan of Action of the World Summit for the Child, the United Arab Emirates took the initiative in giving humanitarian relief and developmental assistance to many international organizations to alleviate the suffering of people in theses countries, especially the children.
   In conclusion, we hope that this session will reach positive decisions towards ensuring and, securing a better life and better opportunities for children of the modern world.

Thank you, Mr. President.