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UN Security Council Team Visits Nigeria - By Awoyemi Adebisi

United Nations Security Council has sent a delegation of its Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (SCWG-CAAC) to interface with strategic government ministries and agencies.

The move is will garner the team opportunity to witness, first hand, efforts by the Nigerian government towards combating the problem of children caught up in armed conflict, especially in the northeast.

Receiving the delegation in Abuja, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Dr. Nasir Gwarzo, said while armed conflict has affected a good number of children, government has also stepped in to assist them.

He said: “This is the time for us to unite. We need your support and shared experiences because more than 90 per cent of these children are parentless. We have done a lot. We have ratified a lot of globally accepted policies. We are implementing them but a lot needs to be done better. There are some of them (children) that are increasingly getting endangered as they return to their societies due to landmines everywhere.”

Gwarzo described the meeting as very timely because the country is in a transition phase hence, strategies and conclusions reached would enable the new government hit the ground running with a firm understand of current issues.

Earlier, leader of the delegation and Maltese ambassador to the UN, Vanessa Frazier, said children in armed conflict is of priority to the United Nations, and the visit would help tailor interventions.

She said: “As you are aware, yearly, the Secretary General of the United Nations issues a report on children and armed conflict, where a number of country situations are mentioned. Then the working group, which I chair, deliberates and discusses the report of the Secretary General.

“To be sincere, Nigeria has done a lot in the field. It has implemented legislations and, most significantly, adhered to important declarations at the federal level.”

She added: “Being on the ground helps inform our decisions and helps inform our work when we are in New York as a committee.”

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