Olara Otunnu

Former Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict 1998-2005*

From 1998 to 2005, Mr. Otunnu served as the UN Under-Secretary General and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict. In that capacity he led the international campaign to develop and mobilize international action on behalf of children exposed to war, serving as advocate and moral voice for them, promoting measures for their protection in times of war and for their healing and social reintegration in the aftermath of conflict. He instituted several major innovations, including:  placing child protection on the agenda of the UN Security Council; a comprehensive body of protection norms and standards; child-specific war crimes in the Rome Statute; Child Protection Advisers;Naming and Shaming’ list; international monitoring and reporting mechanism; and the ‘Era of Application’. He was the architect of the ground-breaking compliance regime for the protection of children, adopted by the UN Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005). The compliance regime formally establishes a comprehensive, international monitoring and reporting system to document grave violations against children, seeks to identify and publicly list offending parties, holding them accountable, and seeking to ensure compliance ‘on the ground’ with international legal standards. In the course of his advocacy, Mr. Otunnu undertook field trips to several countries still in the grip of conflict or in the process of recovery.

*Ms. Karin Sham Poo served as Interim Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict in the Fall of 2005, during which time she presented the report of the OSRSG/CAAC to the General Assembly.