Since the World Summit for Children in 1990 the United Nations has increasingly sought to draw international attention to the horrendous plight of children affected by armed conflict. In 1996, Ms. Graça Machel, an independent expert appointed by the Secretary-General, submitted her report to the General Assembly entitled “Impact of Armed Conflict on Children”. The report led to the adoption by the General Assembly of resolution A/RES/51/77 (1996) establishing the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict for a period of three years. The Assembly has since extended this mandate five times.
The Mission of the Office is:
“To promote and protect the rights of all children affected by armed conflict”.
- The Special Representative serves as a moral voice and independent advocate for the protection and well-being of boys and girls affected by armed conflict.
- The Special Representative works with partners to propose ideas and approaches to enhance the protection of children and armed conflict and to promote a more concerted protection response.
- The Special Representative and her Office advocate, build awareness and give prominence to the rights and protection of children and armed conflict.
- The Special Representative is a facilitator, undertaking humanitarian and diplomatic initiatives to facilitate the work of operational actors on the ground with regard to children and armed conflict.
The Office of the Special Representative does not have a field presence but promotes and supports the efforts of operational partners.