Twenty-five years ago, the global community issued a bold call to action.
To stop the scourge of children being killed, maimed, recruited and used in conflict.
To stop abductions and sexual violence.
To stop attacks on schools and hospitals.
And to stop denials of vital humanitarian assistance.
The United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council adopted a new mandate to end and prevent these grave violations.
And every year since then, the Children and Armed Conflict Office — led by my Special Representative — works tirelessly to protect children trapped by these conflicts.
The results are inspiring.
Over the past 25 years, more than [170,000] children recruited by armed groups and forces have been released.
And hundreds of lifesaving commitments and Action Plans have been signed and implemented.
Step by step, we are proving that grave violations against children can be stopped.
But much more is needed.
Children are still in harm’s way.
Peace is in short supply.
Cycles of violence and despair won’t stop automatically.
All partners need to continue supporting the Office’s vital monitoring and reporting work.
We need to strengthen our support of released children so they can reintegrate into their communities.
We need to place the needs and rights of children first in peace negotiations.
And we need to honour their bravery and resilience by giving them a full and active voice in their countries’ futures.
The Children and Armed Conflict mandate is more important than ever.
Let’s keep the promise we made 25 years ago.