Statement delivered by the Permanent Representative of Lithuania Ambassador Darius Staniulis
20 March 2023
Thank you Mr. President,
I deliver this statement on behalf of 27 countries that are members of the Group of Friends on Children and Armed Conflict.
The unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression waged by the Russian Federation against Ukraine has inflicted unimaginable suffering on Ukrainians, particularly the most vulnerable. This Commission has documented massive human rights violations against children in Ukraine, with many being killed, injured, tortured, raped, abducted, forced to flee from their homes or denied access to quality education and health care. Many have lost their families, homes, schools or playgrounds and are experiencing devastating psychological consequences.
We strongly condemn Russia’s indiscriminate attacks, which have caused injury and death to civilians and catastrophic damage to civilian infrastructure. We are further concerned by the contamination of Ukrainian territory with landmines and other explosive ordnance, which put children in particular danger.
We also condemn in the strongest terms the reported forced transfers and deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia’s controlled territories and to Russia, as well as granting of Russian citizenship and the placement of children in foster families. Such acts constitute gross violations of international law and must cease immediately. The international community must ensure the accountability for these crimes against children.
Mr. Møse, how can we facilitate the documentation and a safe return of forcibly transferred and deported Ukrainian children and prevent further transfers?
 Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Portugal, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Uruguay.