26/07/2005
Press Release
SC/8458


Security Council

5235th Meeting* (AM)


SECURITY COUNCIL ESTABLISHES MONITORING, REPORTING MECHANISM ON USE


OF CHILD SOLIDERS, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1612 (2005)


Will Collect Timely, Reliable Information on Recruitment, Use;

Calls on Offenders to Prepare Time-Bound Action Plans to Halt Practice


Strongly condemning the recruitment and use of child soldiers by parties to armed conflict, the Security Council today requested the Secretary-General to implement without delay a monitoring and reporting mechanism on the issue.


Unanimously adopting resolution 1612 (2005), the Council underlined that such a mechanism, proposed by the Secretary-General in his report on Children and armed conflict of 9 February (document S/2005/72), will collect and provide timely, objective, accurate and reliable information of the recruitment and use of child soldiers in violation of applicable international law and on other violations and abuses committed against children affected by armed conflict, and that such a mechanism must operate with the participation of, and in cooperation with, national government and relevant United Nations and civil society actors.


The Council also established a Council working group to which the mechanism will report.  That working group will review progress in the development and implementation of action plans called for in paragraph 5 (a) of Council resolution 1539 (2004), which called on the parties concerned, as annexed to the Secretary-General’s report of 10 November 2003 (document S/2003/1053), to prepare concrete, time-bound action plans to halt the recruitment and use of children in violation of international obligations.  The Council expressed serious concern regarding the lack of progress in development and implementation of those action plans.


The Council also reaffirmed its intention to consider imposing, through country-specific resolutions, targeted and graduated measures, such as a ban on the export and supply of small arms and light weapons and of other military equipment, against parties to armed conflicts on the agenda of the Council and in violation of applicable international law relating to the rights and protection of children in armed conflict.


Further to the resolution, the Council will continue to include specific provision for the protection of children in the mandates of United Nations peacekeeping operations, including the deployment of child-protection advisers (CPAs).  It called upon all parties concerned to ensure that the protection, rights and well-being of children affected by armed conflict are specifically integrated into all peace processes, peace agreements and post-conflict recovery and reconstruction programmes and to abide by the international obligations applicable to them relating to the protection of children affected by armed conflict.


The Council requested the Secretary-General to continue to implement his zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to ensure full compliance of peacekeeping personnel with the United Nations code of conduct.  It urged troop-contributing countries to take appropriate action, including predeployment awareness training, and to take disciplinary and other action to ensure full accountability in cases of misconduct involving their personnel.


Also by the text, the Council urged Member States, United Nations entities, regional and subregional organizations and other parties concerned to take appropriate measures to control illicit subregional and cross-border activities harmful to children, including illicit exploitation of natural resources, the illicit trade in small arms, and abduction of children and their use and recruitment as soldiers.


An independent review on implementation of the mechanism will be provided to the Council by 31 July 2006, including an assessment of the overall effectiveness, as well as releasing of the information compiled; a measure of how effectively the mechanism is linked to the work of the Council; information on the cost implications; and recommendations for full implementation.


The Council requests the Secretary-General to submit a report by November 2006 on implementation of the resolution.


The meeting started at 10:20 a.m. and was adjourned at 10:23 a.m.


The full text of resolution 1612 (2005) reads as follows:


The Security Council,


Reaffirming its resolutions 1261 (1999) of 25 August 1999, 1314 (2000) of 11 August 2000, 1379 (2001) of 20 November 2001, 1460 (2003) of 30 January 2003, and 1539 (2004) of 22 April 2004, which contribute to a comprehensive framework for addressing the protection of children affected by armed conflict,


While noting the advances made for the protection of children affected by armed conflict, particularly in the areas of advocacy and the development of norms and standards, remaining deeply concerned over the lack of overall progress on the ground, where parties to conflict continue to violate with impunity the relevant provisions of applicable international law relating to the rights and protection of children in armed conflict,


Stressing the primary role of national governments in providing effective protection and relief to all children affected by armed conflicts,


Recalling the responsibilities of States to end impunity and to prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes perpetrated against children,


Convinced that the protection of children in armed conflict should be regarded as an important aspect of any comprehensive strategy to resolve conflict,


Reiterating its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and, in this connection, its commitment to address the widespread impact of armed conflict on children,


Stressing its determination to ensure respect for its resolutions and other international norms and standards for the protection of children affected by armed conflict,


Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 9 February 2005 (S/2005/72) and stressing that the present resolution does not seek to make any legal determination as to whether situations which are referred to in the Secretary-General’s report are or are not armed conflicts within the context of the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols thereto, nor does it prejudge the legal status of the non-State parties involved in these situations,


Gravely concerned by the documented links between the use of child soldiers in violation of applicable international law and the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons and stressing the need for all States to take measures to prevent and to put an end to such trafficking,


“1.   Strongly condemns the recruitment and use of child soldiers by parties to armed conflict in violation of international obligations applicable to them and all other violations and abuses committed against children in situations of armed conflict;


“2.   Takes 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 as called for in paragraph 2 of its resolution 1539 (2004) and, in this regard:


(a)   underlines that the mechanism is to collect and provide timely, objective, accurate and reliable information on the recruitment and use of child soldiers in violation of applicable international law and on other violations and abuses committed against children affected by armed conflict, and the mechanism will report to the working group to be created in accordance with paragraph 8 of this resolution;


(b)   underlines further that this mechanism must operate with the participation of and in cooperation with national government and relevant United Nations and civil society actors, including at the country-level;


(c)   stresses that all actions undertaken by United Nations entities within the framework of the monitoring and reporting mechanism must be designed to support and supplement, as appropriate, the protection and rehabilitation roles of national governments;


(d)   also stresses that any dialogue established under the framework of the monitoring and reporting mechanism by United Nations entities with non-state armed groups in order to ensure protection for and access to children must be conducted in the context of peace processes where they exist and the cooperation framework between the United Nations and the concerned government;


“3.   Requests the Secretary-General to implement without delay, the above-mentioned monitoring and reporting mechanism, beginning with its application, within existing resources, in close consultation with countries concerned, to parties in situations of armed conflict listed in the annexes to Secretary-General’s report (S/2005/72) that are on the agenda of the Security Council, and then, in close consultation with countries concerned, to apply it to parties in other situations of armed conflict listed in the annexes to Secretary-General’s report (S/2005/72), bearing in mind the discussion of the Security Council and the views expressed by Member States, in particular during the annual debate on Children and Armed Conflict, and also taking into account the findings and recommendations of an independent review on the implementation of mechanism to be reported to the Security Council by 31 July 2006.  The independent review will include:


(a)   an assessment of the overall effectiveness of the mechanism, as well as the timeliness, accuracy, objectivity and reliability of the information compiled through the mechanism;


(b)   information on how effectively the mechanism is linked to the work of the Security Council and other organs of the United Nations;


(c)   information on the relevance and clarity of the division of responsibilities;


(d)   information on the budgetary and other resource implications for United Nations actors and voluntary funded organizations contributing to the mechanism;


(e)   recommendations for the full implementation of the mechanism;


“4.   Stresses that the implementation of the monitoring and reporting mechanism by the Secretary-General will be undertaken only in the context of and for the specific purpose of ensuring the protection of children affected by armed conflict and shall not thereby prejudge or imply a decision by the Security Council as to whether or not to include a situation on its agenda;


“5.   Welcomes the initiatives taken by UNICEF and other United Nations entities to gather information on the recruitment and use of child soldiers in violation of applicable international law and on other violations and abuses committed against children in situations of armed conflict and invites the Secretary-General to take due account of these initiatives during the initial phase of implementation of the mechanism referred to in paragraph 3;


“6.   Notes that information compiled by this mechanism, for reporting by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly and the Security Council, may be considered by other international, regional and national bodies, within their mandates and the scope of their work, in order to ensure the protection, rights and well-being of children affected by armed conflict;


“7.   Expresses serious concern regarding the lack of progress in development and implementation of the action plans called for in paragraph 5 (a) of its resolution 1539 (2004) and, pursuant to this, calls on the parties concerned to develop and implement action plans without further delay, in close collaboration with United Nations peacekeeping missions and United Nations country teams, consistent with their respective mandates and within their capabilities; and requests the Secretary-General to provide criteria to assist in the development of such action plans;


“8.   Decides to establish a working group of the Security Council consisting of all members of the Council to review the reports of the mechanism referred to in paragraph 3 of this resolution, to review progress in the development and implementation of the action plans mentioned in paragraph 7 of this resolution and to consider other relevant information presented to it; decides further that the working group shall:


(a)   make recommendations to the Council on possible measures to promote the protection of children affected by armed conflict, including through recommendations on appropriate mandates for peacekeeping missions and recommendations with respect to the parties to the conflict;


(b)   address requests, as appropriate, to other bodies within the United Nations system for action to support implementation of this resolution in accordance with their respective mandates;


“9.   Recalls paragraph 5 (c) of its resolution 1539 (2004), and reaffirms its intention to consider imposing, through country-specific resolutions, targeted and graduated measures, such as, inter alia, a ban on the export and supply of small arms and light weapons and of other military equipment and on military assistance, against parties to situations of armed conflict which are on the Security Council’s agenda and are in violation of applicable international law relating to the rights and protection of children in armed conflict;


“10.  Stresses the responsibility of United Nations peacekeeping missions and United Nations country teams, consistent with their respective mandates, to ensure effective follow-up to Security Council resolutions, ensure a coordinated response to CAAC concerns and to monitor and report to the Secretary-General;


“11.  Welcomes the efforts undertaken by United Nations peacekeeping operations to implement the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to ensure full compliance of their personnel with the United Nations code of conduct, requests the Secretary-General to continue to take all necessary action in this regard and to keep the Security Council informed, and urges troop-contributing countries to take appropriate preventive action including predeployment awareness training, and to take disciplinary action and other action to ensure full accountability in cases of misconduct involving their personnel;


“12.  Decides to continue the inclusion of specific provisions for the protection of children in the mandates of United Nations peacekeeping operations, including the deployment, on a case-by-case basis, of child-protection advisers (CPAs), and requests the Secretary-General to ensure that the need for and the number and roles of CPAs are systematically assessed during the preparation of each United Nations peacekeeping operation; welcomes the comprehensive assessment undertaken on the role and activities of CPAs with a view to drawing lessons learned and best practices;


“13.  Welcomes recent initiatives by regional and subregional organizations and arrangements for the protection of children affected by armed conflict, and encourages continued mainstreaming of child protection into their advocacy, policies and programmes; development of peer review and monitoring and reporting mechanisms; establishment, within their secretariats, of child-protection mechanisms; inclusion of child-protection staff and training in their peace and field operations; sub- and interregional initiatives to end activities harmful to children in times of conflict, in particular cross-border recruitment and abduction of children, illicit movement of small arms, and illicit trade in natural resources through the development and implementation of guidelines on children and armed conflict;


“14.  Calls upon all parties concerned to ensure that the protection, rights and well-being of children affected by armed conflict are specifically integrated into all peace processes, peace agreements and post-conflict recovery and reconstruction planning and programmes;


“15.  Calls upon all parties concerned to abide by the international obligations applicable to them relating to the protection of children affected by armed conflict as well as the concrete commitments they have made to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, to UNICEF and other United Nations agencies and to cooperate fully with the United Nations peacekeeping Missions and United Nations country team, where appropriate, in the context of the cooperation framework between the United Nations and the concerned government, in the follow-up and implementation of these commitments;


“16.  Urges Member States, United Nations entities, regional and subregional organizations and other parties concerned, to take appropriate measures to control illicit subregional and cross-border activities harmful to children, including illicit exploitation of natural resources, illicit trade in small arms, abduction of children and their use and recruitment as soldiers as well as other violations and abuses committed against children in situations of armed conflict in violation of international applicable law;


“17.  Urges all parties concerned, including Member States, United Nations entities and financial institutions, to support the development and strengthening of the capacities of national institutions and local civil society networks for advocacy, protection and rehabilitation of children affected by armed conflict to ensure the sustainability of local child-protection initiatives;


“18.  Requests that the Secretary-General directs all relevant United Nations entities to take specific measures, within existing resources, to ensure systematic mainstreaming of CAAC issues within their respective institutions, including by ensuring allocation of adequate financial and human resources towards protection of war-affected children within all relevant offices and departments and on the ground as well as to strengthen, within their respective mandates, their cooperation and coordination when addressing the protection of children in armed conflict;


“19.  Reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to ensure that, in all his reports on country-specific situations, the protection of children is included as a specific aspect of the report, and expresses its intention to give its full attention to the information provided therein when dealing with those situations on its agenda;


“20.  Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report by November 2006 on the implementation of this resolution and resolutions 1379 (2001), 1460 (2003), and 1539 (2004) which would include, inter alia:

(a)   Information on compliance by parties in ending the recruitment or use of children in armed conflict in violation of applicable international law and other violations being committed against children affected by armed conflict;


(b)   Information on progress made in the implementation of the monitoring and reporting mechanism mentioned in paragraph (3);


(c)   Information on progress made in the development and implementation of the action plans referred to in paragraph (7) of the present resolution;


(d)   Information on the assessment of the role and activities of CPAs;


“21.  Decides to remain actively seized of this matter.”


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