Marking the 26 July tenth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1612 — which was a milestone in the field of children and armed conflict — Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Leila Zerrougui hosted an interactive panel discussion to highlight its significance.
“Resolution 1612 created tools that have proven invaluable over the past decade in the implementation of the mandate on children and armed conflict,” SRSG Zerrougui said in remarks translated from French in her statement at the United Nations headquarters event in New York.
“It has created an exceptional platform, a product of the efforts of many of you – and those efforts continue to this day,” the SRSG added as she directly addressed the audience of Member State ambassadors and delegates, as well as representatives of United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Click here to see SRSG Zerrougui’s statement in full – and what resolution 1612 means for children affected by armed conflict
The Security Council adopted resolution 1612 after first placing the issue of children and armed conflict on its agenda as a global peace and security issue in 1999 via resolution 1261. This followed the United Nations General Assembly’s creation of the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict in December 1996.
Resolution 1612 endorsed the Secretary-General’s proposal to create a monitoring and reporting mechanism (MRM) to collect timely and reliable information on violations committed against children affected by armed conflict. It also established the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. The Working Group reviews information on country situations provided by the MRM, and recommends measures that aim to promote the protection of children in those situations.
“Many Member States played a role in developing this evolving architecture,” SRSG Zerrougui said, as she recalled that France and Benin had been “instrumental” in preparing the resolution, and that France had also served as the Working Group’s first chair – ahead of Mexico, Germany, and Luxembourg, which had “strengthened the framework” when they chaired the group.
SRSG Zerrougui also recognized the “instrumental role” played by the Working Group’s current chair, Malaysia, in the Security Council’s recent addition of “abduction” as one of the triggers for listing a party to conflict in the annual report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict.
SRSG Zerrougui highlighted the “strong partnerships built with regional organizations” to implement the children-and-armed-conflict architecture, and said she gave “particular credit” to her SRSG predecessors – Olara A. Otunnu and Radhika Coomaraswamy – for having “each advanced the agenda in their own way.”
UNICEF also continues to provide vital backing to the framework at headquarters and in the field, gathering vital information and engaging with parties in all situations across the children-and-armed-conflict mandate, SRSG Zerrouigui added. She went on to underscore the key implementation roles played by the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – as well as numerous NGOs.
Joining SRSG Zerrougui on the panel were H.E. Ambassador Mr. Francois Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, H.E. Ambassador Mr. Dato’ Ramlan Bin Ibrahim, Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations, Ms. Yoka Brandt, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, and Mr. Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF’s Representative to Sudan.
For their part, Member State Ambassadors and delegates, as well as representatives of United Nations agencies participated in the interactive discussion.