New York 28 June 2007 – Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict will be visiting Afghanistan from 28 June to 3 July, at the invitation of the Government. The Special Representative will be accompanied by Louis Georges Arsenault, UNICEF’s Director of the Office of Emergency programs in New York.

The main objective of this field mission is to inaugurate the monitoring and reporting mechanism pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) on grave violations committed against children in armed conflict.

During the visit, Ms. Coomaraswamy will also ascertain first hand the impact of the conflict on children. She will pay particular attention to the issues of attacks on girl’s schools, children associated with anti-government elements including the Taliban, and their detention for alleged association with these groups.

The UN Special Representative intends to undertake a dialogue with the Government as well as with religious and tribal leaders on these important issues. Furthermore, she will meet with the UN country team, members of civil society and children affected by conflict in an effort to ensure greater protection for children.

Within the framework of resolution 1612 (2005), the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict will examine the Secretary General’s report on the situation of children in Afghanistan in October 2008.

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For further information, please contact:

Ms. Laurence G