The Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict was established by Council resolution 1612 (2005).
Consisting of all members of the Council, the Working Group was mandated to review reports on violations against children affected by armed conflict committed by parties that are listed in the annexes to the Secretary-General’s report on children and armed conflict. The annual report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the Security Council's resolutions and presidential statements on children and armed conflict for the period from January to December 2012 can be found here.
The annexes list parties that recruit or use children in violation of the international obligations applicable to them (in accordance with resolution 1539 (2004)), parties to armed conflict that engage, in contravention of applicable international law, in patterns of killing and maiming of children and/or rape and other sexual violence against children, in situations of armed conflict (in accordance with resolution 1882 (2009)), and parties to armed conflict that engage, in contravention of applicable international law, (a) in recurrent attacks on schools and/or hospitals, and (b) in recurrent attacks or threats of attacks against protected persons in relation to schools and/or hospitals in situations of armed conflict (in accordance with resolution 1998 (2011)).
The Working Group is also mandated to review progress in the development and implementation of the national action plans on children and armed conflict (called for in resolution 1539 (2004)) and to consider other relevant information presented to it.
The Working Group shall also 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, and 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.
The periodic reports of the Secretary-General that are considered by the Working Group emanate from the monitoring and reporting mechanism called for in resolution 1539 (2004), and are introduced formally by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict. Following a negotiation process among the Working Group members in informal consultations, the Working Group’s Conclusions are adopted in a formal meeting of the Working Group and subsequently issued as an official document of the Security Council (S/AC.51/2013/x).
The Conclusions of the Working Group contain recommendations to parties to conflict, Member States, the United Nations system, donors and other relevant actors. In addition to the public Conclusions document, the recommendations are transmitted to the recipients in the form of letters. Messages to parties to conflict are issued in the form of a public statement by the Chair of the Working Group which is issued as a Security Council press release.
The Secretary-General’s periodic reports, the Working Group’s Conclusions and public statements by the Chair can be accessed here. The Annual Report of the Working Group and other relevant documents are found here.
In addition to the Secretary-General’s periodic reports, the Working Group regularly receives updates from the field through a Global Horizontal Note which is presented by UNICEF. Members of the Working Group also hear regular updates on current issues and activities relevant to children and armed conflict from the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict.
The current Chair of the Working Group, for the period ending 31 December 2014, is Her Excellency Ms. Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg). The Vice-Chair for 2014 is Argentina.
Formal meetings and informal consultations of the Working Group are announced in the Journal of the United Nations.
On 6 December 2013, the Working Group adopted its conclusions (S/AC.51/2013/3) emanating from the Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Yemen (S/2013/383). The Working Group has begun its consideration of draft conclusions on children and armed conflict in the Philippines pursuant to the Secretary-General’s report of 12 July 2013 (S/2013/419), and will next consider draft conclusions on children and armed conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic pursuant to the Secretary-General’s report of 19 December 2013 (S/2014/31).