Universal ratification of the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict will establish an international moral consensus that no child should take part in hostilities or be involuntarily recruited and that former child soldiers should be assisted by their governments after a life of violence and distress.
I am quite confident that in the foreseeable future armed conflict will not take the form of huge land armies facing each other across extended battle lines, as they did in World War I and World War II or, for that matter, as they would have if NATO had faced the Warsaw Pact on the field of battle.
The world is rapidly being divided into two camps, the comradeship of anti-Christ and the brotherhood of Christ. The lines between these two are being drawn. How long the battle will be we know not whether swords will have to be unsheathed we know not whether blood will have to be shed we know not whether it will be an armed conflict we know not. But in a conflict between truth and darkness, truth cannot lose.
It is my belief that whereas the twentieth century has been a century of war and untold suffering, the twenty-first century should be one of peace and dialogue. As the continued advances in information technology make our world a truly global village, I believe there will come a time when war and armed conflict will be considered an outdated and obsolete method of settling differences among nations and communities.
I do occasionally wonder, if you were to bring to life one of those young men who sacrificed themselves in what was advertised to them as the Great War, and the war to end all war, and show them that we're still engaged in armed conflict in the same area, I'm not sure that they would be pleased about what their sacrifices amounted to.
We must pay attention to the millions of children of this generation who are caught up in armed conflicts. How can we protect them from the worst consequences of war? And when hostilities cease, how can we take the war out of them? By eliminating landmines, controlling the sale of small arms, raising the age of recruitment ... are all essential measures. By reuniting children with their families and providing programs of physical and psychological rehabilitation.
Long-term trauma for women who have survived armed conflict is a haunting reminder that health issues and depression can follow decades after the end of war, but women who hope for healing can and do move forward.
When the United States stands up for human rights, by example at home and by effort abroad, we align ourselves with men and women around the world who struggle for the right to speak their minds, to choose their leaders, and to be treated with dignity and respect. We also strengthen our security and well being, because the abuse of human rights can feed many of the global dangers that we confront - from armed conflict and humanitarian crises, to corruption and the spread of ideologies that promote hatred and violence.
During the fiscal year ending in 1861, expenses of the federal government had been $67 million. After the first year of armed conflict they were $475 million and, by 1865, had risen to one billion, three-hundred million dollars. On the income side of the ledger, taxes covered only about eleven per cent of that figure. By the end of the war, the deficit had risen to $2.61 billion. That money had to come from somewhere.
We stopped the fighting [in 1991] on an agreement that Iraq would take steps to assure the world that it would not engage in further aggression and that it would destroy its weapons of mass destruction. It has refused to take those steps. That refusal constitutes a breach of the armistice which renders it void and justifies resumption of the armed conflict.