SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS INVOLVEMENT OF CHILDREN IN ARMED CONFLICT, URGES STRICT COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS19980629 Presidential Statement Stresses Obligation of States To Prosecute Those Responsible for Breaches of Humanitarian Law
The Security Council this evening strongly condemned the targeting of children in armed conflicts and called upon parties concerned to strictly comply with their obligations under international law, in particular under the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols, as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The issue was detailed at an earlier meeting of the Council today (see Press Release SC/6536).
In a statement read on its behalf by its President, Antonio Monteiro (Portugal), the Council stressed the obligation of all States to prosecute those responsible for grave breaches of international humanitarian law.
It expressed its intention to pay serious attention to the situation of children affected by armed conflicts and to maintain contact, as appropriate, with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children in Armed Conflict, Olara A. Otunnu, and with the relevant programmes, funds and agencies of the United Nations system. The Council said it would consider the impact on civilian population, including the needs of children, whenever it adopted measures provided for under Article 41 of the Charter.
The meeting, which was called to order at 5:59 p.m., was adjourned at 6:04 p.m.
The full text of the presidential statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/1998/18, reads as follows:
"The Security Council expresses its grave concern at the harmful impact of armed conflict on children.
"The Security Council strongly condemns the targeting of children in armed conflicts, including their humiliation, brutalization, sexual abuse, abduction and forced displacement, as well as their recruitment and use in hostilities in violation of international law, and calls upon all parties concerned to put an end to such activities.
Security Council - 2 - Press Release SC/6537 3897th Meeting (PM) 29 June 1998
"The Security Council calls upon all parties concerned to comply strictly with their obligations under international law, in particular their obligations under the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the Additional Protocols of 1977 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989. The Council stresses the obligation of all States to prosecute those responsible for grave breaches of international humanitarian law.
"The Security Council recognizes the importance of the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children in Armed Conflict, supports his activities and welcomes his cooperation with all relevant programmes, funds and agencies of the United Nations system which he deems appropriate.
"The Security Council expresses its intention to pay serious attention to the situation of children affected by armed conflicts and, to this end, to maintain contact, as appropriate, with Special Representative of the Secretary-General and with the relevant programmes, funds and agencies of the United Nations system.
"The Security Council, while dealing with situations of armed conflict, expresses its readiness to consider, when appropriate, means to assist with the effective provision and protection of humanitarian aid and assistance to civilian population in distress, in particular women and children; to consider appropriate responses whenever buildings or sites that usually have a significant presence of children, such as, inter alia, schools, playgrounds, hospitals, are specifically targeted; to support efforts aimed at obtaining commitments to put to an end the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict in violation of international law; to give special consideration to the disarmament and demobilization of child soldiers, and to the reintegration into society of children maimed or otherwise traumatized as a result of an armed conflict; and to support or promote child-focused mine-clearance and mine-awareness programmes, as well as child-centred physical and social rehabilitation programmes.
"The Security Council recognizes the importance of special training of personnel involved in peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace-building activities on the needs, interests and rights of children, as well as on their treatment and protection.
"The Security Council further recognizes that, whenever measures are adopted under Article 41 of the United Nations Charter, consideration should be given to their impact on the civilian population, bearing in mind the needs of children, in order to consider appropriate humanitarian exemptions."
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