United Nations Special Session on Children
8-10 May 2002, New York

“Let us at least make sure that the next generation understands, better than ours has done, or at least mine has done, that human security is as much about governance, human rights, and social justice, as it is about arsenals.”

Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General 

TDDAy’s tools of war and conflict—nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, battleships, fighter aircraft, tanks, small arms, light weapons and landmines—take a special toll on children. While it is true that the defence of a nation is a special duty of every government, guaranteed by the United Nations Charter, it is equally true that the security of each child is a special responsibility of each nation, as solemnly prescribed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Disarmament at the United Nations contributes to the security of the child through various means, such as UNICEF, the Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, and the United Nations Mine Action Service. The Department of Disarmament Affairs coordinates its efforts with those offices and agencies and makes a direct contribution to the effort through advocacy, information and education for balanced military spending, the end of nuclear dangers, a curb on illegal gun trading and the elimination of landmines.