India has strongly expressed its disappointment over UN chief Antonio Guterres for including in recent report situations in India that are neither armed conflicts nor a threat to international security and said such attempts to expand mandate in a selective manner to certain situations only politicises the agenda, reported The Hindu.
The “Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict”, released on Tuesday. “Children continued to be affected by incidents of violence between armed groups and the government “particularly in Jammu and Kashmir and in the context of the Naxalite insurgency”.” Mr. Guterres said.
India was mentioned under a section of the report titled “Situations not on the agenda of the Security Council or other situations”.
Paulomi Tripathi, India’s first Secretary at the UN General Assembly, speaking at a Security Council open debate on children and armed conflict on Friday, pointed to the importance of credible, impartial and transparent implementation of the mandate given to the UN system, reported PTI.
“In spite of the clear mandate by the Council, we are disappointed that the Report of the Secretary-General includes situations which are not armed conflicts or of threat to maintenance of international peace and security,” she said.
“Such attempt to expand mandate in a selective manner to certain situations only politicises and instrumentalises the agenda, obfuscating and diverting attention from the real threats to international peace and security.”
According to the report, the U.N. had received reports of child recruitment and use in Jammu and Kashmir. Five children, some as young as 14, were reportedly recruited by militant groups, including the Hizbul Mujahideen (two) and Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (one), the report said. Two other children joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba and were reportedly killed in an encounter with the government forces on December 9. The report also mentioned the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua district.
However, Mr. Guterres welcomed the measures taken by the Indian government to protect children.
Leading human rights organisations also criticised Mr. Guterres for excluding countries, which is responsible for grave violations against children in armed conflict in his new list of shame, saying the process for determining the perpetrators had become increasingly politicised.