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Child protection in armed conflict: UN to hold high-level debate

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United Nations: The UN Security Council will hold a high-level open debate on children and armed conflict with the theme “Protecting Children Today Prevents Conflict Tomorrow” on Monday, aiming to bring world attention to the protection of children in armed conflict. Diplomatic sources said on Saturday that the meeting will be chaired by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba will present the secretary-general’s annual report on children and armed conflict, Xinhua reported. Other speakers include the executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) Henrietta Fore, and Yenny Londono, a civil society representative from Colombia. The Council is expected to adopt a resolution during the meeting, informed sources said. There were at least 21,000 grave violations of children’s rights verified by the UN last year (6,000 by government forces and 15,000 by non-state armed groups), a 27 per cent increase over 2016, according to the Security Council Report, Inc. whose mission is to advance the transparency and effectiveness of the Security Council. Increasing violations are largely attributed to “the changing nature of conflict and the deterioration in a number of situations,” the SCR said in a report. Among the trends that Gamba may highlight are “the denial of humanitarian access as a weapon of war and increased attacks on schools and hospitals,” according to the SCR. Sweden, the chair of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, circulated a concept note on June 21, which highlights three key areas: protecting children and upholding their rights; successful reintegration of former child soldiers; and peace processes as an entry point for protecting children. Londono, who was forcibly recruited by the FARC-EP (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a guerrilla movement involved in the continuing Colombian armed conflict from 1964 to 2017) when she was 13, is expected to speak about the special needs of children who have been forcibly recruited. She was involved in the peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP and may provide insights on how to better integrate children’s needs in peace processes. Sweden had been keen to have a resolution which would build on the approach of last year’s presidential statement, which addressed the connection between conflict prevention and the protection of children. While a more focused resolution was originally considered, ultimately it was decided that a more comprehensive resolution would send a strong signal of the Council’s commitment to the children and armed conflict agenda, according to the SCR.


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State

Congress strong enough to counter divisive forces: Mir

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, July 16: Stating that Congress party will continue to fight against divisive and exploitative forces in the country and state, the J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President G.A. Mir has expressed confidence that people and Congress party in unison will ensure that the forces inimical to multiplicity and rich culture of harmony are defeated miserably.

JKPCC president was addressing series of party meetings at Manzmou, Tangloo, Hiller, Ujroo, Chandoog and Saidiwara in south Kashmir, emphasizing the party leaders and workers to rise to the occasion to defeat the exploitative forces, which are hell bent upon to exploit the people to serve their vested interests.

Describing the Congress Party a formidable force to reckon with, G.A Mir said Congress is capable enough defeat the forces inimical to peace and development in the State, shall continue to fight for the inclusive development of the State, which has received setbacks due to the negligent attitude of BJP Government at Centre.

 

Mir reiterated Congress party’s stand to maintain secular fabric and communal harmony at all costs and by all means and said the party will ensure defeat of communal and divisive forces, which were pitching the communities against each other in order to divide them on the basis of religion or regions, but the Congress party will defeat them tooth and nail.

“Congress never compromised on people’s urges and aspirations for electoral gains, it will continue to remain committed to fight against the political exploitation by BJP-RSS,” G.A. Mir added and appealed the people not to come under false propaganda of BJP and other opportunist parties, who have exploited them (people) equally for electoral gains.

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Er Rasheed asks CB to avoid further delay in investigating Kupwara minor’s killing

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, July 16: Seeking justice for 8-year-old Umer Farooq who was brutally murdered after being kidnapped from his native village in Gulgam Kupwara last year, AIP president Er Rasheed has appealed for a thorough introspection in the society to get rid of criminal elements.
Speaking on functions at Gulgam organized to pay tributes to Umer Farooq on his first death anniversary, Er Rasheed said. “While it is encouraging that sources within the crime branch claim to have reached very close to the culprits, it is need of the hour to avoid further delay in resolving the mystery. Crime branch must come out with its findings and take the investigation of the barbaric incident to its logical end so that trial in a fast track court is initiated.” Rasheed further added that while entire humanity within and outside state got shocked after the incident but we all need to have a sincere introspection to find out the reasons behind such sick and barbaric mentality that can turn humans worst than the wild beasts.

The society needs an introspection to find out reasons that why it is losing moral values and a huge chunk of youth are becoming drug addicts. Parents, teachers, religious clerics and common masses need to unite and ensure that the entire society is made de-addicted from the menace of drugs, he said.

 
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Non-implementation of ACP has demoralised engineering cadre: Shah Faesal

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, July 16: Reacting to one day mass casual leave of graduate Engineers, President JKPM Shah Faesal has expressed his solidarity with them and impressed on the state government to fulfill their demands immediately.

“Engineers are the most hard-working people of the State and the brightest of the students would opt for engineering streams. However it is shocking to look at the level of stagnation in the Engineering sector and no serious effort has been made so far to address the career related issues of Engineers,” Shah Faesal said in a statement issued .

“It is a tragedy that even Chief Engineers are working in the pay scale of AEEs and the OPG promotion syndrome has destroyed the Engineering cadre completely. After 30 years of service officers are retiring with the same pension that their fellow employees with one third of their service,” Shah Faesal added.

 

Shah Faesal lamented that Assured Career Promotion scheme approved by the Government after years of hard work of engineers has not been implemented so far.

He called upon the Government to fulfill its obligations towards engineering cadre immediately and implement the ACP scheme in letter and spirit.

“Engineers are the primary movers and shakers when it comes to developmental activity. A demoralised cadre cannot effectively lead the infrastructure development in the state and therefore Government should immediately take cognizance of the issue,” Shah Faesal argued.

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