DRC – A New Step Forward In Protecting Children Affected By War

Democratic republic of congo (DRC)

A new step forward in protecting children affected by war

The Securtiy council Working group on children and armed conflict takes actions

New York, 7 September 2006– The UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy welcomes the conclusions of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict following the examination of the report of the Secretary General on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (S/2006/389) presented in June. "Yesterday was an important landmark in the fight against impunity for those who commit grave violations against children during armed conflict. The Security Council Working Group is now taking concrete actions against violators," she said.

"The first recommendations of the Working Group (WG) of the Security Council on DRC serve as a long-awaited sign not only of serious censure and possible repercussions for parties who continue to abuse children in situations of armed conflict but also of aid to parties like the Government of DRC, who are seeking to comply and have actively engaged the Working Group and UN country teams in a dialogue on how to improve the conditions of these vulnerable children," added Ms. Coomarswamy,

One of the WG's recommendations to the Security Council is to forward to the Sanctions Committee on DRC for necessary action, the WG's grave concern on the repeated violations of the Security Council resolutions by the leaders of the Mouvement révolutionnaire congolais (MRC). The WG also reiterated the responsibility of MONUC to aid the Government in apprehending and bringing to justice child abusers, specifically dissident General Nkunda whose case is already seized by the Security Council Sanctions Committee on DRC.

Amongst other actions, the WG will address the UN Agencies and donor governments to assist the Government of DRC with technical assistance to the military Tribunals. The WG also welcomes the visit of the Ms. Coomaraswamy to DRC.

The WG was established pursuant by Resolution 1612 (2005) in order to promote the protection of children in armed conflict through a monitoring and reporting mechanisms as well as appropriate recommendations to the UN system including to the Security Council.

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For further information, please contact: Laurence Gerard, Communications 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.