US representative David Pressman, right, walks with his cousin, actor George Clooney, at the United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/David Karp) (AP Photo/David Karp)
David Pressman

…The Secretary-General’s Annual Report should contribute to our common cause to protect children by using standards that are applied uniformly, when documenting the actions of all parties in conflict – so that it is perceived as credible, objective, and non-political. But if this report is politicized – if it becomes more of a political tool to advance political agendas, rather than a clear application of facts to objective standards – it will be seriously compromised. Let’s be clear: the idea that the Government of Israel, as some have suggested in this debate, would be listed on the same page as ISIL, Boko Haram, or Syria is factually and fundamentally wrong. The comparisons we have heard from some today of casualty numbers are totally misleading. Multiple UN agencies and this year’s Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict itself have explicitly stated that the casualty numbers in Syria are unable to be verified and almost certainly underreported. Comparing these underreported numbers to documented deaths meets no standard of credibility and seems like a blatant attempt to vilify rather than illuminate.


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