Thank you Mr. President.
The well-being of children is a cornerstone of international human rights as noted in the Vienna Declaration.
Unfortunately, the UN agency charged with protecting children is failing to carry out its mandate.
The Palestinian branch of UNICEF funds and partners with several NGOs that are closely linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist organization. This cooperation includes legal aid potentially placing vulnerable children in direct contact with the PFLP and putting them at risk for being recruited as child soldiers.
In addition to endangering Palestinian children, UNICEF works with these same groups to produce reports targeting Israel, making specious accusations of human rights violations.
At the same time, UNICEF fails to document or report on Palestinian incitement of children and their recruitment and use of child soldiers. The questionable rational given for this failure is that Palestinian child incitement falls outside its mandate and that UNICEF lacks access to information of these violations despite the presence of multiple UN agencies and NGO partners on the ground.
The close association and reliance on terror-linked organizations contributes to this failure.
UNICEF Opt must disband its working group and start over – without terror-linked partners. UNICEF’s oPt funders including Japan, Belgium, and Switzerland must be pressed to review their contributions and move to end complicity in Palestinian child abuse.
Mr. President, the human rights of children can never be safeguarded by organizations linked to terror groups.