We welcome the convening of this important meeting and thank all panelists for their interesting presentations.
As for the State Party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols, respecting fundamental rights of children is of utmost importance for Georgia.
Regrettably, violence against children remains a major challenge in our reality. Being among the most vulnerable groups during the humanitarian situations, children are often exposed to various forms of violence and discrimination.
We welcome the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on protecting the rights of the child in humanitarian situations (A/HRC/37/33), in which he describes the major challenges children face in these situations and gives valuable recommendations on effective humanitarian response.
In his report, the High Commissioner underscores the importance of protection of the rights to health and education for children. These rights, as well as, other fundamental human rights, are gravely violated on a daily basis in the occupied regions of Georgia. Our persistent concern is related to children, who are denied the right to education in their native language and are deprived of access to medical care. The full absence of international monitoring mechanisms further deteriorates humanitarian and human rights situation on the ground.
We share the view that the remaining gaps demand stronger commitment from international community in order to bring to the issue attention it deserves.
At the same time, we attach significant importance to successful cooperation with the UN special mandate holders and to the effective implementation of the UPR recommendations.
In conclusion, let me once again reiterate Georgia’s readiness to join international efforts to uphold and fulfill the rights of children in humanitarian situations. As we aim to achieve 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we believe that there can be no development, without children, whose rights are fully respected.
I thank you.