© Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict / Adrianne Lapar.

On February 14, 2019, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict and the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD) at Princeton University convened a workshop on children and armed conflict. The fifth such policy workshop since 2013, the event brought together UN Security Council members, non-Council members, UN staff, and civil society to discuss challenges and opportunities for strengthening implementation of the UN’s children and armed conflict (CAC) agenda.

The workshop also served as a convening space for incoming members of the UN Security Council’s Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, which Belgium is chairing during its 2019-2020 Council term. Swedish Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Olof Skoog opened the workshop by offering reflections on Sweden’s chairmanship of the Working Group in 2017 and 2018. Ambassador Karen Van Vlierberge, Deputy Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations, presented Belgium’s vision for the Working Group and its work plan.

Other sessions examined implementation of the UN’s Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM), the UN’s engagement with parties to conflict that have committed grave violations against children, practical challenges to the implementation of the CAC agenda at the field level, and mental health and psychosocial support for children affected by armed conflict.

A wrap-up session summarized the findings and recommendations of the workshop. Watchlist will publish a report based on the workshop’s recommendations, and consider how they could be taken forward in 2019-2020, particularly in the context of the Security Council’s thematic debates on children and armed conflict, in the Working Group’s consideration of country-specific situations, and throughout its other activities.