2 August 2005

Secretary-General Names Officer-in-Charge, Programme for Children and Armed Conflict, Pending Appointment of New Special Representative

He Thanks Olara Otunnu for Raising Profile of United Nations Efforts

NEW YORK, 1 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

On 26 July 2005, the Security Council adopted resolution 1612 (2005) in which it took note of the action plan presented by the Secretary-General relating to the establishment of a monitoring and reporting mechanism on children and armed conflict.  The Council requested the Secretary-General to implement the mechanism without delay with regard to situations of armed conflict listed in the annexes to the Secretary-General’s report (document S/2005/72).

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara Otunnu, contributed enormously in the preparation and presentation of the plan of action. His comprehensive briefings of the Council culminated in the adoption of resolution 1612.

With the adoption of a solid plan of action, this mechanism has now entered the implementation phase.  With the expiry of Mr. Otunnu’s appointment on 31 July 2005 and pending the appointment of his successor, the Secretary-General has requested Karin Sham Poo of Norway to be Officer-in-Charge of the programme.

Ms. Sham Poo served, until recently, as the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The Secretary-General wishes to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Otunnu for his splendid services to the Organization and, in particular, for raising the profile of United Nations efforts to protect children in armed conflict.  The adoption of a comprehensive plan of action on a monitoring and reporting mechanism on children and armed conflict attests to the wonderful work done by Mr. Otunnu for which the Secretary-General and the international community, and no doubt children around the world, are all grateful.

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