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Security Council to Consider Annan's
action plan on ending child soldier recruitment||
UN News Center
February 23, 2005
Acknowledging the need for a monitoring
and reporting mechanism to track the recruitment of child
soldiers and other children's rights violations, the United
Nations Security Council today said it has started considering
the proposal for such an instrument from Secretary-General Kofi
In a statement read by Foreign Minister Rogatien Biaou of
Benin, which holds the Council presidency for February, at the
end of a day-long debate the 15-member body said it was working
on a new resolution to "take forward the implementation of its
It reiterated "its intention to complete expeditiously the
process of the establishment of the mechanism" and said it would
ensure compliance and end impunity.
The new resolution would be aimed at "ending the recruitment
or use of child soldiers in violation of applicable
international law and other violations and abuses committed
against children affected by armed conflict situations, and
promoting their reintegration and rehabilitation."
It did not make clear whether it would impose sanctions or
"targeted measures" against those who recruited children, a key
request made earlier in the day by Olara Otunnu, the
Secretary-General's Special Representative for Children and
Armed Conflict (CAAC).
He made his remarks during a special Council session convened
to review the problems facing child victims of wars and his
third report on the situation.
The situation of vulnerable children has improved in just a
few years, mainly under Security Council leadership, Mr. Otunnu
said, but too many of them were still being brutalized by
parties to conflicts, with UN field representatives complaining
of lack of security, access, cooperation and, especially, an
organized and functioning mechanism for monitoring and reporting
at the country level.
"The Council has on previous occasions expressed its
intention to take concrete and targeted measures against these
(offending) parties. It is most important that the Council make
good on its promise on this occasion. On that depends the
credibility of this exercise," he said.
"The targeted measures should include the imposition of
travel restrictions on leaders and their exclusion from any
governance structures and amnesty provisions, the imposition of
arms embargoes, a ban on military assistance and restriction on
the flow of financial resources to the parties concerned."
He suggested that the Council establish a committee to review
any sanctions imposed to protect children exposed to conflict,
demand that the parties named prepare time-bound action plans to
end their violations and put the recommended monitoring and
reporting mechanism into operation expeditiously.
Listing an offending party, whether a Government or a rebel,
was to ensure accountability of a "specific, identifiable and
identified entity," not a broad or non-specific category of
offenders, Mr. Otunnu said.
The LTTE of Sri Lanka, named in this year's report, notified
him in a letter he received just yesterday of "their readiness
to enter into dialogue, using the framework of the monitoring
and reporting mechanism," he said.
He called on the LTTE leadership to embark immediately on
tangible actions, leading to a time-bound action plan to end,
once and for all, the practices of recruitment, abductions and
use of children as soldiers.
Mr. Otunnu concluded his remarks by reciting from a Bob
Marley song, "Hear the children cryin'."
Meanwhile, the Deputy Executive Director of the UN Children's
Fund (UNICEF), Rima Salah,
told the Council the agency "already has in place sophisticated
monitoring and reporting tools for a variety of sectors,
including health education, water and sanitation and, in some
countries, on conflict-related child rights abuses, such as
abductions and recruitment of child soldiers."
To improve this expertise and apply it globally, UNICEF would
need cooperation from Governments, assurance of security for
staff and whistle-blowers, and appropriate guidance, methodology
and data collection tools, as well as funding for training staff
and other workers in the field, Mr. Salah said.
More than 30 speakers addressed the Council, including its 15