Security Council SC/7219

4422nd and 4423rd Meetings* (AM & PM) 20 November 2001

Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution 1379 (2001); Former Sierra Leonean Child Soldier Appeals for Action

Recognizing the harmful and widespread impact of armed conflict on children and the long-term consequences on durable peace, security and development, the Security Council this afternoon expressed its readiness to explicitly include provisions for the protection of children, when considering mandates for peacekeeping operations.

In the second of two meetings today, the Council took that action as it unanimously adopted resolution 1379 (2001) by whose terms it also expressed its readiness to continue to include child protection advisers on peacekeeping operations. In that context, the Secretary-General was asked to take the protection of children into account in peacekeeping plans submitted to the Council, by including, on a case-by case basis, child-protection staff in missions and peace-building operations.

The Council also asked the Secretary-General to continue, and intensify, monitoring and reporting activities by peacekeeping and peace-building support operations on the situation of children in armed conflict. In a report requested by the Council on the resolution s implementation, the Secretary-General was requested to attach a list of parties to armed conflict that recruit or use children in violation of their international obligations.

The resolution before the Council today tells each of us what we have to do to protect children in armed conflict , United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the Council in the first meeting today, which was addressed by over

30 speakers. He said that the text called on States to punish conduct that fuelled and exacerbated war and drew attention to issues such as the recruitment of children and trafficking in arms and natural resources. It also urged donors, lenders, the United Nations, international financial institutions and others to use their financial leverage and influence as well.

* The 4420th & and 4421st Meetings were closed.

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4422nd & 4423rd Meetings (AM & PM) 20 November 2001

Also in today s resolution, the Council further expressed its intention to call upon the parties to a conflict to make special arrangements for the protection and assistance requirements of women, children and other vulnerable groups. It also underlined the importance of the full, safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel, goods and assistance to all children affected by armed conflict.

By other terms, the Council expressed its intention to consider taking appropriate steps to address the links between armed conflict and terrorism, the illicit trade and trafficking in precious minerals, small arms and light weapons, as well as other criminal activities which could prolong armed conflict or intensify its impact in civilian populations, including children.

By further terms, the Council undertook to consider, when imposing punitive measures, the socio-economic impact of sanctions on children in order to provide appropriate humanitarian exemptions that would take account of their specific needs and vulnerability, as well as minimize such impact.

The resolution also called on all parties to armed conflict to fully respect international laws related to the rights and protection of children in armed conflict; provide protection and assistance to refugees and internally displaced people; take special measures to promote and protect the rights of girls, meet their needs and put an end to all forms of violence and exploitation; and provide protection for children in peace agreements.

By other terms, the Council urged Member States to end impunity; prosecute those responsible for crimes against humanity and other egregious crimes committed against children; and exclude, where feasible, those crimes from amnesty provisions and relevant legislation. Member States were also urged to consider measures to discourage corporate actors within their jurisdiction from maintaining commercial relations with parties to armed conflicts, who violate applicable international law on the protection of children in armed conflict. States were also urged to take further measures against corporate actors, individuals and entities under their jurisdiction who engaged in illicit trading of natural resources and small arms.

Further by the text, States were urged to ratify both the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on involvement of children in armed conflict and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 182 on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour.

Olara Otunnu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, said there was an urgent need for the international community to organize a more systematic and effective way of monitoring and reporting the conduct of parties to the conflict in relation to their treatment of children. Unless critical knowledge gaps were filled, interventions were unlikely to be effective. He had proposed a Research Agenda on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children to focus on filling knowledge gaps in the specific areas. The idea was to generate research outcomes and products that were responsive to practical needs, and help to inform and strengthen policy-making and action.

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Mr. Otunnu also underscored that the international community was not doing enough to prevent harm to girls in wartime and to ensure appropriate recovery and rehabilitation services in the aftermath. He appealed to the Council and the international community to support the efforts of the United Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan (UNSMA) to ensure that child protection remained a priority throughout the peacemaking and peace-building processes in that country.

Also in his statement this morning, Mr. Annan stressed that field monitoring was essential, and he would continue to ensure the deployment of child protection advisers. The Council also needed timely, accurate information about the implementation of its resolutions, and he was committed to providing that. He underscored that he also stood ready to bring to your attention the identities of parties that are in violation of any part of this resolution .

Alhaji Babah Sawaneh, a 14-year old former child soldier from Sierra Leone, who was abducted by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) when he was 10 years old, also addressed the Council today, describing his two-year ordeal as a child combatant and his experience with disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.

He appealed to the Council on behalf of the children of Sierra Leone to do all it could to end their sad tale. We want to be able to move about freely in all parts of the country to attend the schools of our choice , he said. We want to be able to visit our friends and families everywhere in the country without fear of abduction, recruitment and other dangers. Above all we want our parents to be able to work and educate us and to become useful citizens. He hoped that governments and the United Nations would listen to children and take their words into account.

Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), addressed the Council, as well, today.

Statements were also made in the first meeting today by the representatives of the United Kingdom, United States, Norway, China, Ukraine, Mali, Russian Federation, Ireland, Bangladesh, Colombia, Tunisia, France, Singapore, Mauritius, and Jamaica.

The representatives of Belgium (on behalf of the European Union and associated States), Egypt, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Japan, South Africa, Canada, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria and Malaysia addressed the Council today, as well.

The first meeting, which began at 11:45 a. m. , was suspended at 1:17 p. m. , resumed at 3:20 p. m. , and adjourned at 6:22 p. m.

The second meeting in which the resolution was adopted, began at 6:23 p. m. and was adjourned at 6:25 p. m.

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Resolution

The full text of resolution 1379 (2001) reads, as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolution 1314 (2000) of 11 August 2000,

Further recalling its resolutions 1261 (1999) of 28 August 1999, 1265 (1999) of 17 September 1999, 1296 (2000) of 19 April 2000, 1306 (2000) of 5 July 2000, 1308 (2000) of 17 July 2000 and 1325 (2000) of 31 October 2000 and the statements of its President of 29 June 1998 (S/PRST/1998/18), 12 February 1999 (S/PRST/1999/6), 8 July 1999 (S/PRST/1999/21), 30 November 1999 (S/PRST/1999/34), 20 July 2000 (S/PRST/2000/25) and of 31 August 2001 (S/PRST/2001/21),

Recognizing the harmful and widespread impact of armed conflict on children and the long-term consequences this has for durable peace, security and development,

Bearing in mind the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and recalling the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security and, in this connection, its commitment to address the impact of armed conflict on children,

Underlining the need for all parties concerned to comply with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and with international law, in particular those regarding children,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 7 September 2001 on the implementation of resolution 1314 (2000) on children and armed conflict,

1. Expresses, accordingly, its determination to give the fullest attention to the question of the protection of children in armed conflict when considering the matters of which it is seized;

2. Expresses its readiness explicitly to include provisions for the protection of children, when considering the mandates of peacekeeping operations, and reaffirms, in this regard, its readiness to continue to include, where appropriate, child protection advisers in peacekeeping operations;

3. Supports the ongoing work of the Secretary General, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, other agencies of the United Nations system and other international organizations dealing with children affected by armed conflict;

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4. Expresses its intention, where appropriate, to call upon the parties to a conflict to make special arrangements to meet the protection and assistance requirements of women, children and other vulnerable groups, including through the promotion of days of immunization” and other opportunities for the safe and unhindered delivery of basic necessary services;

5. Underlines the importance of the full, safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel and goods and the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all children affected by armed conflict;

6. Expresses its intention to consider taking appropriate steps, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, to address the linkages between armed conflict and terrorism, the illicit trade in precious minerals, the illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons, and other criminal activities, which can prolong armed conflict or intensify its impact on civilian populations, including children;

7. Undertakes to consider, as appropriate when imposing measures under Article 41 of the Charter of the United Nations, the economic and social impact of sanctions on children, with a view to providing appropriate humanitarian exemptions that take account of their specific needs and their vulnerability and to minimize such impact;

8. Calls upon all parties to armed conflict to:

(a) Respect fully applicable international law relating to the rights and protection of children in armed conflict, in particular the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the obligations applicable to them under the Additional Protocols thereto of 1977, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989, the Optional Protocol thereto of 25 May 2000, and the amended Protocol II to the Convention on Prohibition or Restriction on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, the International Labour Organization Convention No. 182 on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour and the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, and notes the inclusion as a war crime in the Rome Statute of the conscription or enlistment of children under the age of fifteen years into the national armed forces or using them to participate actively in hostilities;

(b) Provide protection and assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons, the majority of whom are women and children, in accordance with applicable international norms and standards;

(c) Take special measures to promote and protect the rights and meet the special needs of girls affected by armed conflict, and to put an end to all forms of violence and exploitation, including sexual violence, particularly rape;

(d) Abide by the concrete commitments they have made to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, as well

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as relevant United Nations bodies, to ensure the protection of children in situations of armed conflict;

(e) Provide protection of children in peace agreements, including, where appropriate, provisions relating to the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and rehabilitation of child soldiers and the reunification of families, and to consider, when possible, the views of children in those processes;

9. Urges Member States to:

(a) Put an end to impunity, prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other egregious crimes perpetrated against children and exclude, where feasible, these crimes from amnesty provisions and relevant legislation, and ensure that post-conflict truth-and-reconciliation processes address serious abuses involving children;

(b) Consider appropriate legal, political, diplomatic, financial and material measures, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, in order to ensure that parties to armed conflict respect international norms for the protection of children;

(c) Consider, where appropriate, measures that may be taken to discourage corporate actors, within their jurisdiction, from maintaining commercial relations with parties to armed conflicts, that are on the Security Council’s agenda, that violate internationally accepted child protection standards or that contribute to prolonging armed conflicts;

(d) Consider measures against corporate actors, individuals and entities under their jurisdiction that engage in illicit trade in natural resources and small arms, in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions and the Charter of the United Nations;

(e) Consider ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict and the International Labour Organization Convention No. 182 on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour;

(f) Consider further steps for the protection of children, especially in the context of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010);

10. Requests the Secretary-General to:

(a) Take the protection of children into account in peacekeeping plans submitted to the Security Council, inter alia, by including, on a case by case basis, child protection staff in peacekeeping and, as appropriate, peace-building operations and strengthening expertise and capacity in the area of human rights, where necessary;

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(b) Ensure that all peacekeeping personnel receive and follow appropriate guidance on HIV/AIDS and training in international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law relevant to children;

(c) Continue and intensify, on a case by case basis, monitoring and reporting activities by peacekeeping and peace-building support operations on the situation of children in armed conflict;

11. Requests the agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations to:

(a) Coordinate their support and assistance to parties to armed conflict in fulfilling their obligations and commitments to children;

(b) Take account of ways of reducing child recruitment that is contrary to accepted international standards when formulating development assistance programmes;

(c) Devote particular attention and adequate resources to the rehabilitation of children affected by armed conflict, particularly their counselling, education and appropriate vocational opportunities, as a preventive measure and as a means of reintegrating them into society;

(d) Ensure that the special needs and particular vulnerabilities of girls affected by armed conflict, including those heading households, orphaned, sexually exploited and used as combatants, are duly taken into account in the design of development assistance programmes, and that adequate resources are allocated to such programmes;

(e) Integrate HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, care and support into emergency, humanitarian, and post-conflict programmes;

(f) Support the development of local capacity to address post-conflict child rehabilitation and reintegration concerns;

(g) Promote a culture of peace, including through support for peace education programmes and other non-violent approaches to conflict prevention and resolution, in peace-building activities;

12. Encourages the international financial institutions and regional financial and development institutions to:

(a) Devote part of their assistance to rehabilitation and reintegration programmes conducted jointly by agencies, funds, programmes and State parties to conflicts that have taken effective measures to comply with their obligations to protect children in situations of armed conflict, including the demobilization and reintegration of child soldiers, in particular those who have been used in armed conflicts contrary to international law;

(b) Contribute resources for quick-impact projects in conflict zones where peacekeeping operations are deployed or are in the process of deployment;

(page 1g follows)

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(c) Support the efforts of the regional organizations engaged in activities for the benefit of children affected by armed conflict, by providing them with financial and technical assistance, as appropriate;

13. Urges regional and subregional organizations and arrangements to:

(a) Consider establishing, within their secretariats, child protection mechanisms for the development and implementation of policies, activities and advocacy for the benefit of children affected by armed conflict, and consider the views of children in the design and implementation of such policies and programmes where possible;

(b) Consider including child protection staff in their peacekeeping and field operations and provide training to members of such operations on the rights and protection of children;

(c) Take steps leading to the elimination of cross-border activities deleterious to children in times of armed conflict, such as the cross-border recruitment and abduction of children, the sale of or traffic in children, attacks on camps and settlements of refugees and internally displaced persons, the illicit trade in precious minerals, the illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons, and other criminal activities;

(d) Develop and expand regional initiatives to prevent the use of child soldiers in violation of international law and to take appropriate measures to ensure the compliance by parties to armed conflict with obligations to protect children in armed conflict situations;

14. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to include in his written reports to the Council on conflict situations his observations concerning the protection of children and recommendations in this regard;

15. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the Council by 31 October 2002 on the implementation of this resolution and of resolutions 1261 (1999) and 1314 (2000);

16. Requests the Secretary-General to attach to his report a list of parties to armed conflict that recruit or use children in violation of the international obligations applicable to them, in situations that are on the Security Council’s agenda or that may be brought to the attention of the Security Council by the Secretary-General, in accordance with article 99 of the Charter of the United Nations, which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security;

17. Decides to remain actively seized of this matter.

Background

The Security Council met this morning to begin a day-long review of “Children and Armed Conflict”. It had before it a report of the Secretary-General (document A/56/342-S/2001/852), which was issued on 7 S