New York, 11 May 2007– The Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict adopted its recommendations on the situations in Sri Lanka and in Nepal and examined the Secretary General's reports on Somalia and Uganda yesterday.
Ms. Coomaraswamy, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict welcomes the recommendations adopted by the Working Group. "These recommendations send a strong message to the LTTE, a repeat offender who has been on the Secretary General's list of violators for four years and to the Karuna faction-TMVP. They have to stop grave violations of children's rights, especially the recruitment and the use of children in the conflict in Sri Lanka", she said after the meeting. "In regard to Nepal, we hope that the children who remain in the ranks of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) will be demobilized and reintegrated in their communities without delay", added Ms. Coomaraswmay.
The Working Group also examined the reports of the Secretary General on the situations of children in Somalia (S/2007/259) and in Uganda (S/2007/260).
In his report on Somalia, the Secretary General estimates that more than one third of the victims who were killed and injured in fighting there in 2006 were children. Insecurity and violence in Southern and Central Somalia is characterized by grave child rights violations. Continued fighting in and around Mogadishu between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and remnants of the Union of Islamic Courts forces has resulted in more casualties and violations against children in 2007. Humanitarian access has been severely compromised and has had serious implications for children. In the absence of a functioning police and judiciary, crimes against civilians, including women and children, are committed with impunity. The recruitment and use of child soldiers by the TFG and other armed groups is a significant concern.
The Secretary General's report on the situation in Uganda highlights the preliminary steps taken by the Government of Uganda to address violations against children, in particular the drafting of an Action Plan to eliminate the use and recruitment of children in armed conflict. It also contains a series of recommendations with a view to securing strengthened action for the protection of war-affected children in Uganda. The Secretary General urges the leaders of Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) to take immediate steps to end child recruitment and the use of child soldiers, and immediately release all children to child protection agencies and their partners.
During the meeting, Ms. Coomarasamy gave a briefing to the Security Council Working Group on her recent visit to Lebanon, oPt and Israel.
Ambassador de la Sablière, Permanent Representative of France to the UN and Chairman of the Working Group has issued a press release on the proceedings of the meeting.
The Working group was established pursuant to Resolution 1612 (2005) in order to promote the protection of children in armed conflict through a monitoring and reporting mechanism, as well as to make appropriate recommendations to the UN system including to the Security Council.
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For further information, please contact: Laurence Gerard, Liaison Officer, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children Affected by Armed Conflict, United Nations, New York. Telephone: +1 212 963 0984. E-mail: email@example.com.