Myanmar Commits to Child-Free Armed Forces

Nay Pyi Taw, 27 June 2012 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy today witnessed the signing of a Security Council-mandated action plan for the release and reintegration of children associated with the Government forces in Myanmar.

The signing took place in Nay Pyi Taw in the presence of the Minister of Defense, His Excellency Lieutenant General Hla Min and high ranking officials of the Myanmar Armed Forces. Following the signing, the Special Representative met with His Excellency, President Thein Sein, as well as members of the Government and Parliament.

The action plan sets a timetable and measurable activities for the release and reintegration of children associated with Government armed forces, and for the prevention of further recruitment. “This is an ambitious plan agreed by the Government and the United Nations to deal with this long standing issue, and the international community must support it. This is a testament but also a test of Myanmar’s engagement for children, and I hope to see it through,” the Special Representative said.

The action plan calls for additional United Nations and Government capacities and programmes for affected children. It also refers to the possibility to open up dialogue on similar commitments with seven armed groups also listed in the annual report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict.

As a follow-up to her mission in Myanmar, the Special Representative will travel to Brussels and seek financial support for activities related to the agreement. 

# # #

Resources

Annual report of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict including “list of shame” (Annex I and Annex II) 

http://www.un.org/children/conflict/english/index.html

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/childreninwar

# # #

Press conferences

Two press conferences will take place:

Myanmar – Friday, 29 June 2012, 1 pm (Myanmar time)

UNICEF Office in Traders Hotel, Yangon
JPG Conference Room, 10th floor
RSVP: Sandar Linn Communication Officer
UNICEF Myanmar, +95-1-375527-32 (Ext: 1439)
slinn@unicef.org

 New York – Thursday, 5 July 2012, 12 pm (NY time)

Noonbriefing at United Nations, Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium
Webcast: http://webtv.un.org/

# # #