The high-level week of the 71st session of the General Assembly is in full swing at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Leila Zerrougui, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, is taking part in a series of high-level meetings and events to discuss the global situation of children affected by conflict, and how to better address their plight.
Here are the day-by-day highlights:
Friday, 23 September
On the last day of the High-Level week, Special Representative Leila Zerrougui attended a Ministerial Meeting on the Implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, which discussed needed support to the country, including assistance for the implementation of the peace agreement.
Throughout the day, she met high-level officials from France, United States, European Union, Malaysia and others, the latter being the current chair of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict.
The Special Representative also had substantive discussions with representatives of Sudan and Iraq. With the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan, she welcomed the recent release of 21 children arrested for association with armed groups and also discussed the implementation of the Action Plan, signed in March, to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children by Government security forces. During the meeting with His Excellency Mr. Ibrahim Al-Eshaiker Al-Jaafari, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Iraq, they discussed the significant challenges faced by the country to protect the country’s children.
The Special Representative’s week ended with a conversation with the President of the Republic of Niger, which included a discussion of the protection of children and the response to the regional threat posed by Boko Haram.
Thursday, 22 September
On the fourth day of this year’s General Debate at the General Assembly, Special Representative Leila Zerrougui met high-level officials from Malta, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Mexico and others to discuss joint efforts to protect children in countries affected by conflict around the globe. Strengthening the collaboration between all those involved in the protection of children, including Member States, is of major importance in the international fight against the use of child soldiers and other grave violations against children in times of war.
Special Representative Zerrougui also met with Her Excellency Ms. Diosita Andot, Undersecretary, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process of the Philippines, to discuss efforts to end the recruitment and use of children by armed groups in the Philippines.
In addition to other meetings and events, the Special Representative met other senior UN colleagues in New York for the week to discuss regional developments and share best practices.