On 19 September 2012, the United Nations Security Council held its annual Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict. The debate took place on the basis of the Secretary-General’s 11th Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict and in the presence of the Secretary-General’s new Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Leila Zerrougui.
In line with the Concept Note circulated by Germany as President of the Security Council, the Open Debate focused on the theme of accountability. At the beginning of the debate, the Security Council adopted resolution 2068 emphasizing the importance of accountability for perpetrators of grave violations against children. Particular focus was placed on persistent perpetrators who continue to commit violations and abuses against children in situations of armed conflict five or more years after first being listed in the Secretary-General’s report.
Controversially, for the first time in relation to a resolution on children and armed conflict, four States abstained from supporting the resolution. After the vote, 47 delegations, speaking on behalf of almost 90 States, took the floor during the debate, with the overwhelming majority offering strong support for the United Nations’ Children and Armed Conflict agenda.