Mister President,

I would like to warmly thank the United Kingdom for organizing this meeting, Ms. Elmi from UNICEF for her important words, and the children for their courageous words. The theme of this session seems particularly appropriate. 

Myanmar's youth have long been at the forefront of the democratic movement, striving for freedom and change. Since the military coup, young people and young women in particular have emerged as leaders, finding innovative ways to demand an end to military dictatorship and establish genuine democracy. 

However, we cannot rely solely on the resilience of these courageous young people. The coup has profoundly disrupted their lives and their hopes for the future, denying them access to education and employment, and exposing them to the worst forms of violence and sacrifice. 

I would like to draw attention to three aspects:  

Firstly, we are deeply alarmed by the increase in grave violations committed against children, including forced recruitment, and the use of children by armed forces and groups. The military conscription law and recruitment campaigns carried out by the Burmese army and other ethnic armed groups have only exacerbated this crisis. The recruitment of children in Cox's Bazar and their deployment to Myanmar is appalling and must stop immediately. We urgently call on all parties to protect and release all children from their ranks, to end the recruitment of minors, and to respect their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. We call on the Myanmar armed forces to re-engage with the UN to fully implement the 2012 Joint Action Plan on the Recruitment and Use of Children.  

Secondly, the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Myanmar exposes children and young people to serious risks of sexual and gender-based violence and malnutrition, which can have serious effects on their development. Of particular concern is the situation in Rakhine State, which is once again affecting the Rohingya community, while the entire civilian population of the state has been suffering from the conflict for many months. There have been recent credible reports of killings, enforced disappearances and widespread arson, including the burning of large parts of Buthidaung town. We call on the army and all armed groups to cooperate with the UN and all humanitarian actors to strengthen the protection of children. To put an end to impunity, we stress that the perpetrators of all these violations of international humanitarian and human rights law must be held accountable. In this regard, we reiterate our full support for the Independent Investigation Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM).  

Finally, Myanmar is one of the world's most violent conflicts, with significant implications for both regional and international peace and security. 

Mister President,

It is imperative that this Security Council take urgent action. As Tom Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, said last week: “Once again, the world seems to be failing a desperate people in their hour of peril while a hate-driven unnatural disaster unfolds in real time in Myanmar's Rakhine State.” 

It is essential that the Council continue to closely monitor the situation in Myanmar and speak clearly and with one voice in support of international law and the protection of civilians, including children. We call on all parties to fully implement the Council resolution 2669, and we remain ready for this Council to take further urgent action to end the conflict, protect children and youth, and end the discourse that fuels intercommunal tensions.

I thank you.

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