Statement by Chair of Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict

SC/11635
7 November 2014

Statement by Chair of Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict

At its 50th meeting, on 19 September 2014, the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict agreed, in connection with the examination of the fifth report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (S/2014/453), to address the following message through a public statement issued by the Chair of the Working Group:

To all parties to the armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular the Forces armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC), the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR), the Forces de résistance patriotique en Ituri (FRPI), the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), various Mayi-Mayi groups, the Coalition des patriotes résistants congolais (PARECO) and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), as mentioned in the report of the Secretary-General:

(a)   Strongly condemning all violations and abuses that continue to be committed against children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, urging them to immediately end and prevent all violations of applicable international law involving the recruitment and use of children, abduction, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, attacks on schools and hospitals and denial of humanitarian access and reminding them that they have obligations under international law;

(b)   Calling on them to further implement previous conclusions of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (S/AC.51/2007/17, S/AC.51/2009/3, S/AC.51/2011/1);

(c)   Stressing that all perpetrators of such acts must be swiftly brought to justice and held accountable, including through timely and systematic investigation and prosecution, and noting that some of the above-mentioned acts are prohibited and criminalized under Law No. 09/001 on the protection of the child, adopted by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 10 January 2009, including the recruitment and use of children by national armed forces or non-State armed groups;

(d)   Further noting that on 19 April 2004 the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo referred the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and that some of the acts mentioned in 6 (a) may amount to crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, to which the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a State party;

(e)   Strongly urging them to immediately and without preconditions release all children within their ranks and to take immediate and specific measures to put an end to and prevent the perpetration of rape and other forms of sexual violence against children by members of their respective groups;

(f)   Calling upon them to comply with applicable international law and to respect the civilian character of schools and hospitals, including their personnel, and to end and prevent attacks or threats of attacks against those institutions and their personnel, as well as the military use of schools in violation of applicable international law;

(g)   Expressing its deep concern about the continued presence and ongoing destabilizing activities in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo of, in particular, FDLR, various Mayi-Mayi groups, FRPI, LRA, PARECO and ADF and their harmful impact on children;

(h)   Further calling upon all non-State armed groups to publicly express their commitment to end and prevent all violations and abuses committed against children, and to expeditiously develop, adopt and implement action plans in line with Security Council resolutions 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009), 1998 (2011), 2068 (2012) and 2143 (2014), if they are listed in annex I to the report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict;

(i)   Recalling in this regard that four of those non-State armed groups, FDLR, FRPI, the Mayi-Mayi “Lafontaine” and former elements of PARECO and LRA have been listed in annex I to the report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict for at least five years;

(j)   Welcoming the signing by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 4 October 2012 of the Action Plan to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children, sexual violence and other grave violations against children by the national armed and security forces, as well as the Government’s engagement in the campaign “Children, Not Soldiers” and strongly urging the Government to swiftly, fully and effectively implement the Action Plan, including at the provincial level;

(k)   Welcoming the appointment on 14 July 2014 of a presidential adviser on sexual violence and child recruitment, and inviting her to promote close coordination and cooperation among national authorities and international partners involved in fighting sexual violence and recruitment and use of children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;

(l)   Urging those who are or will be engaged in peace talks and agreements to ensure that child protection provisions, including the release and reintegration of children, are integrated into the peace talks and agreements;

(m)   Recalling that the Security Council, by its resolution 2136 (2014), renewed until 1 February 2015 the financial and travel measures imposed by resolution 1807 (2008), which apply to individuals and, as appropriate, entities, as designated by the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004), which include:

(i)   Individuals or entities operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and recruiting or using children in armed conflict in violation of applicable international law;

(ii)  Individuals or entities operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and involved in planning, directing or participating in the targeting of children or women in situations of armed conflict, including killing and maiming, rape and other sexual violence, abduction, forced displacement, and attacks on schools and hospitals;

(iii) Individuals or entities obstructing the access to or the distribution of humanitarian assistance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;

(n)   Further recalling that on 13 August 2010, the Committee updated its sanctions list to include the charges of recruitment and use of children against nine individuals already included in the list of individuals and entities subject to the travel ban and assets freeze imposed by paragraphs 13 and 15 of resolution 1596 (2005), as renewed by paragraph 3 of resolution 1896 (2009), and that between 1 December 2010 and 30 June 2014 the Committee added seven individuals and three entities to the list for the recruitment, use and/or targeting of children;

(o)   Recalling the Working Group’s readiness to communicate to the Security Council pertinent information with a view to assisting the Council in the imposition of targeted measures on persistent perpetrators.

For information media. Not an official record.