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Department of Public Information (DPI)
4 August 2009
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
PRESS CONFERENCE ON SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION ON CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT
Ahead of the Security Council’s adoption of a groundbreaking resolution on children and armed conflict, the top United Nations official on the issue, Radhika Coomaraswamy, and Claude Heller, Permanent Representative of Mexico, today hailed the resolution as a major step forward in the fight against impunity for crimes against children.
Addressing a Headquarters press conference as the Security Council prepared to adopt resolution 1882 (see Press Release
), Ms. Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, and Mr. Heller, Chair of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, pointed out that, under the new resolution, the Council, for the first time, would call upon the Secretary-General to expand his “list of shame” beyond recruitment and use of children. The annexes to the Secretary-General’s annual report on Children and Armed Conflict would now also include the names of the parties to conflict who were responsible for the killing and maiming of children contrary to international law, as well as those parties who perpetrated grave sexual violence against children in wartime.
Another correspondent wanted to know whether the Israeli offensive in Gaza earlier in the year, where some 500 children, according to the correspondent, were killed in 22 days, merited putting Israel on the list of parties to conflict who were responsible for the killing and maiming of children, contrary to international law. Responding, the Special Representative said that was something that would be considered. If children were killed or maimed, that process opened up immediately. A lot would depend on the listing criteria. “There’s a whole list of other issues concerning this in which we’re having discussions with lawyers to see how exactly to draft the listing criteria, which we will share with the Working Group at the end of this year, before the next annul report”, she explained.
Asked about how the new measures would affect the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and peacekeepers in general in how it worked to protect children in conflict zones, she reiterated that the Department’s adoption of a Child Protection Policy in June this year placed that Department in good stead to deal with that issue. The policy included the presence of child protection advisors in the field with direct communication to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General; it implied training, advocacy and a lead role and monitoring. She hoped that policy would be implemented as soon as possible.
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