(Noon Briefing)

UNITED NATIONS, New York, 4 April 2000

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara Otunnu, is visiting Canada today and tomorrow (4 to 5 April) to discuss plans for two major conferences on children and armed conflict being organised by the Government of Canada. The first is a West African conference in Accra, Ghana, from 27-28 April, the second a worldwide conference in Winnipeg, Canada, in September.

During the Ottawa visit, Mr. Otunnu will meet senior Canadian government officials, including the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Lloyd Axworthy, and the Minister for International Cooperation, Ms. Maria Minna.

This afternoon (Tuesday 4 April), Mr. Otunnu will brief members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade on Parliament Hill.

The Special Representative will also meet the Secretary-General of the War-Affected Children Conference, Ms. Nancy Wildgoose, and attend a meeting of the Joint Government-NGO Committee on War-Affected Children, chaired by Senator Landon Pearson.

Mr. Otunnu will brief the Canadian news media at the National Press Club in Ottawa tomorrow morning.