The Security Council Working Group pursuant to resolution 1612 (2005) reviews 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.
Work and Mandate of the Working Group
The Working Group comprises all 15 members of the Security Council and makes its decisions by consensus. The current Chair of the Working Group, for the period ending 31 December 2020, is Her Excellency Mrs. Karen Van Vlierberge (Belgium). The Vice-Chair for 2020 is Niger. The Working Group prepares annual reports of its activities. The Working Group has Terms of Reference for the conduct of its work, and has adopted Options for possible actions by the Working Group (“toolkit”). Formal and informal meetings of the Working Group are announced in the Journal of the United Nations.
The Working Group is mandated to:
- review reports of the monitoring and reporting mechanism
- review progress in the development and implementation of action plans and to consider other relevant information presented to it
- 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 parties to the conflict
- address requests, as appropriate, to other bodies within the United Nations system for action to support implementation of resolution 1612 (2005) within their respective mandates
The Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict was established by Council resolution 1612 (2005) . It reviews reports of the monitoring and reporting mechanism concerning parties in situations of armed conflict listed in the annexes to the Secretary-General’s report. 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 reports are formally introduced to the Security Council Working Group 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 adopts Conclusions in a formal meeting of the Working Group. The Conclusions are subsequently issued as an official document of the Security Council.
The Conclusions of the Working Group may 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 recipients in the form of letters and in the form of a public statement by the Chair of the Working Group which is issued as a Security Council press release.
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.