The Commitment Of The Security Council Is Crucial For The Sake Of Children In Armed Conflict

The report lists parties, which recruit or use children as armed combatants. It also reports on five other grave abuses and violations against children in armed conflict as well as on the monitoring and reporting mechanism implemented in seven pilot countries pursuant to resolution 1612 (2005).

Six country reports are to be examined in 2006 by the Security Council Working Group namely Burundi, Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. For the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan, recommendations of concrete actions the Security Council can take to protect children have already been made to the Council. "It has enhanced constructive dialogue, at all levels, with the member-states concerned for the benefit of the war-affected children," confirms Radhika Coomaraswamy in her statement to the Security Council.

After the passing of Security Council resolution 1612, parties have been approached to enter into action plans to demobilize child soldiers. Commitments have been made by parties in Cote D'Ivoire, Burundi, Myanmar and Uganda. "We hope to consolidate these gains by ensuring that we move beyond good intentions to actually facilitating the formulation of action plans and the timely release of children so that they may be reintegrated into their respective societies." says the Special Representative

According to Radhika Coomaraswamy, despite these progressive developments many challenges remain and more action has to be taken to protect the interests of children trapped in situations of armed conflict and parties must be made aware of the consequences if they do not live up to their commitments. Therefore the recommendations of the Security Council Working Group and the follow up action of the parties concerned are crucial.

The UN Special representative also draws the attention of the Council to the increasing number of reports of sexual violence as an instrument of war. She urges the Council to also consider this violation, beyond child soldiers as a gateway to the annexed lists of the report.

Finally, Radhika Coomaraswamy raised her concerns regarding migration of child soldiers and the recycling of those children within conflict zones. "In many countries after demobilization, many child soldiers are remobilized." She calls for adequate resources to be allocated for the demobilization and reintegration programs to ensure a peaceful future for children scarred by war.

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For further information, please contact:

Laurence Gerard, Liaison Officer, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children Affected by Armed Conflict, United Nations, New York. Telephone: 1 212 963 0984. E-mail: gerardl@un.org.