The General Assembly this afternoon recommended that the Secretary- General appoint a Special Representative to examine the impact of armed conflict on children. It also decided to convene a special session in June 1998 to find new ways to combat drug abuse and trafficking, in the course of adopting the reports of its Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) on a wide range of subjects, including refugees, women, racism, transnational crime and human rights.
The Special Representative’s mandate is outlined in a seven-part resolution on the rights of the child, which was adopted without a vote. Other parts of the text include a call for countries to criminalize commercial and sexual exploitation of children and to eliminate child labour. Appointed for three years, the Special Representative will work closely with the Committee on the Rights of the Child and United Nations agencies to raise awareness about the plight of children affected by armed conflict. The Assembly recommended that the Secretary-General ensure that the Special Representative be given the necessary support and called on States and institutions to make voluntary contributions for the mandate.
Further, the Assembly called on States and United Nations agencies to treat children in armed conflict as a priority in all human rights, humanitarian and development activities. And it also called for States and other parties to armed conflict to recognize refugee and internally displaced children’s particular vulnerability to recruitment into armed forces, as well as to sexual violence, exploitation and abuse. The impact of economic sanctions on children should be assessed and monitored, and humanitarian exemptions should be child-focused.
Read the full text of Press Release GA/9201, 12 December 1996 here: http://www.un.org/press/en/1996/19961212.ga9201.html