The celebration of the World Children’s Day was an opportunity to hold the first “International Academic Week on the Protection of Children in Armed Conflict”, organised by the “Universities Network for Children in Armed Conflicts” (UNCAC), with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. During the Week, a number of educational activities, seminars and events were held aimed at raising awareness of this issue among students from all over the world, also developing a high-level scientific dialogue in the 38 member universities of the Network, from EU countries, the Balkans, Africa, North America, Latin America and the Middle East.
Speaking at the Opening Conference of the Academic Week, opened by the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Marina Sereni, the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, expressed the hope that the Network may become an important force multiplier for the international community, to better ensure that children are no longer used during armed conflicts.
The Ministry’s support of the UNCAC Network is part of its broader commitment to the rights of children living in theatres of war, in particular for implementing Italy’s solemn commitment at the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Geneva, 9-12 December 2019), which continues to record the broadest support among those presented at the Conference. At the closing event of the Academic Week, a hitherto unpublished video clip was screened representing, for the first time in a musical format, the six serious violations against children identified by the United Nations.