Assembly Highlights -16 – Press Release GA/9540 18 December 1998

Many speakers praised the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The designation of rape, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy and other forms of sexual violence as crimes against humanity was particularly welcome. Women and children, the Committee agreed, were victims of massive violations of human rights in armed conflicts. Olara Otunnu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, called for pressure to be brought to bear on those who were abusive to women and children in conflict situations. Members of the Committee agreed that children, in particular, needed to be protected, as the victims of today were likely to turn into the aggressors of tomorrow. An eight-part resolution adopted by the Assembly on the rights of the child urged States and other parties to armed conflict to adopt measures to end the use of children as soldiers.