Angola: Children's rights protection strengthened

News and Press Release
Originally published
New York Jan 15 - Angolan ambassador to the United Nations, Ismael Martins, said in New York his country is conscious about the importance of respect, protection and promotion of children's rights and stressed that concerned efforts are in progress.

The ambassador said so during the first "open" session of the Security Council this year, at which Angola as a non-permanent member delivered its first speech on issues concerning "Children and Armed Conflicts".

According to Ismael Martins, although Angola has been mentioned in the report by the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, on "War Hit Children", the country is conscious about its responsibilities, adopting and implementing an ample program meant to assist children affected by war.

He also mentioned such basic services as health care, education, potable water and birth registration as part of the Government's effort to benefit the children.

Ambassador Ismael Martins stressed that the Angolan Government has started these efforts during the war and is within the ongoing reconstruction context and national reconciliation hoping to reach great progresses.

"For over 27 years of armed conflict, Angola acquired experience from the dramatic effects of the war on children", the diplomat said, adding that "more than 100,000 children were separated from their families and a large number of them witnessed the killing of members of their families."

He also stressed that "more than four million civilians are displaced and about 60,000 orphans".

Ismael Martins appealed to the Security Council member states to abide by the international conventions on child protection for the construction of a "better world" for them.

Meanwhile, addressing the session, the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, reiterated the need for protection of children against armed conflicts, as they are the main victims of war around the world.

Kofi Annan warned that children in situation of armed conflict die in stepping over landmines, are displaced from their areas of origin and become "forced labor" and sexual exploration and abuse objects.

Source: ANGOP