Press Releases

    22 November 2005

    Security Council Working Group to End Grave Violations of Children in Armed Conflict Holds Landmark First Meeting

    NEW YORK, 21 November (UN Headquarters) -- In a ground-breaking moment in the fight to protect children in armed conflict, a newly-formed Security Council Working Group, composed of all its members and chaired by France, met in an inaugural session on Wednesday, 16 November 2005.

    Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sablière, Permanent Representative of France and Chairman of the Working Group, stated, "The establishment of this Working Group demonstrates the Security Council's concrete commitment to combat children's rights violations in armed conflict, which are unacceptable and must not go unpunished."  The Working Group was established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612, adopted on 26 July 2005, with the task of reviewing monitoring reports and progress on the implementation of Security Council-mandated action plans to promote the protection of children affected by armed conflict.

    The Working Group will play an important role in the implementation of the landmark monitoring and reporting mechanism that will track the situation of children in armed conflict around the globe, securing the Council's timely review of progress achieved and measures to be taken against repeat offenders.

    This new reporting mechanism will be implemented in phases in conflict-affected countries to monitor the conduct of parties to conflict.  These reports will be distributed to key bodies that constitute "destinations for action" responsible for taking concrete measures in response to grave violations against children by offending parties.  The Security Council is one of these key destinations for action.

    The mechanism will monitor grave violations by all parties to armed conflict, both Governments and insurgents, focusing particularly on:

    -- Killing or maiming of children;

    -- Recruiting or using child soldiers;

    -- Attacks against schools or hospitals;

    -- Rape or other sexual violence against children;

    -- Denial of humanitarian access for children; and

    -- Abduction of children.

    The meeting of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict is a turning point, which signals the end of an era marked by silent witness and the beginning of an era of application of international norms for the protection of all children exposed to armed conflict.

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