On December 13, 2016, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict and the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University convened a workshop on Children and Armed Conflict. Participants included representatives of UN Security Council Missions, other UN Member States, relevant UN departments and offices, and civil society.
This was the third such policy workshop since 2013, aimed at bringing together international policy-makers to discuss specific, concrete, and targeted actions that can be taken within the framework of the UN Security Council’s Children and Armed Conflict (CAC) agenda. The December workshop served as a convening space for incoming members of the UN Security Council’s Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, which is to be chaired by Sweden in 2017-2018, and focused on facilitating input for agenda-setting for the Working Group. The workshop included three working sessions. The sessions were dedicated to (1) a CAC agenda introduction, (2) the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, and (3) a thematic discussion on addressing attacks on education and health care in armed conflict. During the first working session, the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), and UNICEF introduced several initiatives and topics with an outlook to next year, reflecting on the current status of the CAC agenda. The second session focused on the Security Council Working Group, framed around its working methods. The session featured former Chairs of the Working Group who offered their views on challenges and opportunities to carry out the work expeditiously. The third session was thematic in nature, focusing on the challenge of protecting schools and hospitals from attack under the framework of Resolution 1998, and featured experts from both the UN and civil society working on these issues.
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 2017-2018, 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. The report will be made public in the first quarter of 2017.