New York, 1 December 2008 – Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict will be visiting Nepal from 1 to 6 December 2008.

During the visit, Ms. Coomaraswamy will ascertain first hand the impact of the conflict on children. She will pay particular attention to the issue of the release and the reintegration of former child soldiers as well as the current use of children by armed groups and their participation in political violence. In line with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Special Representative will advocate for the immediate release of the 2,973 Maoist Army elements disqualified as minors remaining in Maoist cantonments.

Ms. Coomaraswamy intends to undertake a dialogue with the Government and other relevant stakeholders 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.

The Special Representative will follow-up on the recommendations of the Security Council on the situation of children in Nepal. She will also intend to support the monitoring and reporting mechanism on grave violations against children in armed conflict established within the framework of Security Council resolution 1612 (2005).

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For further information, please contact:

Ms. Laurence G