Coalition Signs MoU with UN to Strengthen the Protection of Children Affected by Armed Conflict in Yemen
The Joint Forces Commander of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen Prince Lieutenant General Fahd Bin Turki Bin Abdulaziz signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Riyadh today with The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (SRSG) Ms. Virginia Gamba. The MoU aims to strengthen the protection of children affected by armed conflict in Yemen.
Prince Lieutenant General Fahd Bin Turki Bin Abdulaziz reaffirmed the importance of working in close coordination with the UN to ensure the protection of Yemeni children, an essential cause that remains a high priority. The signing ceremony was attended by His Excellency the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the UN Ambassador Abdallah AlMouallimi.
On the SRSG’s part, she expressed her pleasure over the signing of the MoU, adding that today’s signature is an important addition to the measures already in place to enhance the protection of Yemeni children.
The signing of the MoU is the result of close engagement between the SRSG’s office and the Child Protection Unit within the Joint Forces Command of the Coalition.
The SRSG praised the Joint Forces of the Coalition, under the leadership of the Kingdom, for its humanitarian efforts in Yemen, specifically in ensuring the effective protection and rehabilitation of Yemeni children.
The MOU foresees the development by the Coalition and the UN of a number of activities to strengthen prevention and protection measures for Yemeni children within the next two months. Preventative activities would focus on the issuance of command orders, training, awareness raising, and the provision of services for child survivors.
At the signing ceremony, Ms. Gamba pointed to the 2017 annual report on Children and Armed Conflict issued by the SRSG’s office to the UN Security Council, which classified the Houthi militia under “List A” –parties that have not put in place measures during the reporting period to improve the protection of children-. Instead, the report shows that the Houthis have committed grave violations against Yemeni children, including killing and recruiting them.
Ms. Gamba praised the Coalition for its efforts to reintegrate Yemeni children into civilian life, specifically its willingness to improve on the UN’s existing standards, and overcome any impediments to ensuring the protection of children in warfare. Additionally, she lauded the work of the UN Global Reintegration Initiative, in which the Kingdom plays a leading and positive role in.