GENEVA: Qatar has stressed the importance of protecting children under all circumstances and in all situations of peace and war alike, and condemned and denounced their continued exposure to serious risks due to armed conflicts that threaten their physical and psychological safety and normal development.

This came in a statement by Qatar delivered by Eid Mubarak Al Sulaiti, third organization affairs researcher in the Organizations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during the "Interactive Dialogue with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict," within the work of the 55th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Al Sulaiti said that Qatar has worked, within the framework of its regional and international strategic partnerships, to give priority to the protection of children affected by armed conflict, especially in the context of the educational initiatives it is undertaking, such as the "Educate a Child" initiative, which has succeeded in enrolling ten million children in schools in areas affected by conflict and disasters.

He noted that children also received laudable attention in the mediation efforts undertaken by Qatar, which hosted a number of unaccompanied Afghan children and provided them with full care to spare them the negative effects of the conflict, pointing out that Qatar also contributed last December to the reunification of a number of Ukrainian children affected by the conflict with their loved ones.

Al Sulaiti explained that Doha's hosting of the Analysis and Outreach Hub of the Office of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, while providing financial support to the center for the years 2018-2023, is a confirmation of the State of Qatar's interest in this important mandate.

He pointed out that after the war on Gaza entered its 160th day, Palestinian children are still the weakest link in this tragedy which claimed the lives of more than thirteen thousand children who died under the rubble of homes because of Israeli missiles.

He added that as a result of preventing the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, another chapter of the tragedy began represented by the death of children after they starved to the last breath, noting that the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) stated that the number of children who were martyred as a result of the ongoing war on the Strip Gaza has surpassed the number of children killed during four years of conflicts around the world, and he noted that UNICEF said that the 'children of Gaza slowly perishing under the worlds gaze'.

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