Norway aligns itself with the statement by the European Union. Allow me to add some remarks in my national capacity.
Through several decisions and declarations OSCE participating states are committed to ensuring the rights of children affected by or involved in armed conflict, for instance in Copenhagen 1990 and in Istanbul in 1999.
Norway strongly condemns Russia’s ongoing attacks on civilians in Ukraine, including on children.
The Russian armed forces are using heavy explosive weapons that have a devastating effect. There is nowhere to hide. Cluster munitions are killing and injuring children and will continue to do so long after the conflict ends.
The OHCHR has now reported over 7000 civilian casualties in Ukraine, including boys and girls, since the beginning of Russia’s invasion on 24 February, and the actual figures are most likely considerably higher.
Russia’s warfare in urban and populated areas, and the bombing of homes, schools, hospitals, and other civilian infrastructure, continues unabatedly. The city of Odesa is an example, where Russian missiles hit civilian targets, and civilian targets only, earlier this week.
The most recent attacks by Russia on schools and the civilians seeking shelter there, are telling of the barbaric nature of this war.
Millions of Ukrainian children have been forced to leave their homes, and many have been separated from their loved ones.
Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine has caused a humanitarian disaster with long-term consequences for everybody, not least children. This is the responsibility of Russia. It is up to Russia to stop this war and abide by international law.