(MENAFN- Gulf Times)
On the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the mandate of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Qatar sponsored a photo exhibition on children and armed conflict under the title 'From Despair to Hope: Children beyond Armed Conflict', which was organised at the UN headquarters in New York, with the permanent missions of Kazakhstan, Malta, Iraq, Norway, France and the UK.
Qatar's Permanent Representative to the UN, HE Sheikha Alya 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 organisation, and representatives of the relevant UN agencies and non-governmental civil society organisations.
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.
HE Sheikha Alya said that this photos remind us that children are the most vulnerable in conflict situations and that their lives often reflect the collateral damage of war and instability.
She 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.
HE Sheikha Alya expressed her happiness at Doha's hosting of the Centre for the Promotion and Protection of Children Affected by Armed Conflict of the Office of special representative Gamba.
She explained that the centre 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 co-operation to end and prevent violations against children in armed conflict.
Gamba expressed her gratitude to 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.
She 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 Qatar's contribution to this event helps to ensure a better understanding of the reality of children affected by the conflict.
For his part, photojournalist Dowling praised 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.'
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