On June 28, 2021, the United Nations Security Council held its annual open debate on children and armed conflict (CAAC), under Estonia’s presidency. At the open debate, Secretary-General António Guterres presented his annual report on children and armed conflict (A/75/873-S/2021/437), covering the period from January 1 to December 31, 2020. The open debate focused on issues related to the implementation of the CAAC agenda, including the mid- and long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the protection of children in armed conflict, as well as the importance of a gender perspective in child protection, considering the specific risks faced by girls.

Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Security Council convened this year’s open debate virtually, in accordance with its June working methods. Non-Council members were invited to submit written statements. In addition to the Secretary-General, other briefers included Executive Director of UNICEF Henrietta Fore, Advocate for Children Affected by War with the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (OSRSG-CAAC) Forest Whitaker, and civil society speaker and Education Specialist from Plan International Laban Onisimus.

Read the detailed review and analysis here.