On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Children and Armed Conflict, the State of Qatar sponsored a photo exhibition on children and armed conflict under the title “From Despair to Hope: Children beyond Armed Conflict”, which was organized at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, with the permanent missions of Kazakhstan, Malta, Iraq, Norway, France and the United Kingdom.
HE Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Sheikha Alia Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani, inaugurated the exhibition in the presence of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba, a number of ambassadors and permanent delegates to the International Organization, and representatives of the relevant United Nations agencies and non-governmental civil society organizations.
The exhibition included a collection of photographs of children from Iraq, Syria, Gaza, Darfur, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other places of conflict, by British photojournalist Paddy Dowling.
Her Excellency Sheikha Alia Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani said that this photos reminds us that children are the most vulnerable in conflict situations and that their lives often reflect the collateral damage of war and instability.
Her Excellency stressed that one of Qatar’s priorities is to protect children from the devastating effects of the conflict, as well as to protect education from attacks.
Her Excellency noted her happiness at Doha’s hosting of the Center for the Promotion and Protection of Children Affected by Armed Conflict of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.
Her Excellency explained that the center aims to enhance knowledge and skills related to the protection of children affected by armed conflict in the region. It also encourages gathering information and strengthening international cooperation to end and prevent violations against children in armed conflict.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba, expressed her gratitude to the State of Qatar and its mission for generous support in sponsoring the exhibition and for the continued support for children and the mandate of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict said that the exhibition provides a special opportunity to reflect on the complexity of the lives of children living in the midst of conflict, adding that the photos of children are beautiful and tragic and show the cruelty of war yet show that these children still hope for a better future.
She also expressed her belief that the contribution of the State of Qatar to this event helps to ensure a better understanding of the reality of children affected by the conflict For his part, photojournalist Paddy Dowling, praised the State of Qatar and its charitable institutions for the support they provide to children affected by the armed conflict.
In a video speech, he said, “I thank from the bottom of my heart my fellow humanitarians in the State of Qatar, especially Qatar Fund for Development, Education Above All and Qatar Charity for their tireless support to those in dire need of assistance around the world.”
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar