H.E. Mr. Rashid
Minister of Foreign
Affairs of the United Arab Emirates
Special Session of the
General Assembly on Children
9 May 2002
In The Name of God the Most Merciful
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.