posted on Fri 11 Mar 2011 11:18 AM
Insights on the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict

The Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict has been meeting weekly since January 2011 when Germany took up the chairmanship of the Working Group from Mexico. This Working Group has been at the forefront of implementing resolution 1612 and getting resolution 1882 adopted in August 2009. However, one of the difficulties it has faced over time is being able to get through the cycle of reports in a timely manner. Germany, however, appears determined to change this.

With this in mind, the Working Group adopted a schedule which has it adopting conclusions on two reports almost every two months. It hit its first target when it adopted conclusions for the DRC and Somalia on 25 February. At that same meeting the Working Group also was briefed on the reports on children and armed conflict in Afghanistan and Chad. It hopes to adopt conclusions to these reports in mid-April. A first draft of the conclusions went around at the end of last week. Following a request for written comments, the Working Group met this week for its first discussion on these two reports.

Upcoming reports to be considered by September include CAR, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Iraq, Columbia and Uganda.

It also appears that later this year Germany plans to take the lead on preparing a new resolution on children and armed conflict. This could come during Germany’s presidency in July. New issues might include expanding the trigger for a party to be included in the Secretary-General’s annexes in his annual report on children and armed conflict to include attacks against schools and hospitals. The current triggers are recruitment of child soldiers, killing and maining of children and rape and other sexual violence against children.