On July 12th 2011 the UN Security Council (SC) held its annual open debate on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC). During the open debate, the Council unanimously adopted Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1998 (2011) expanding the UNSC’s monitoring and reporting mechanism to include the grave violation of attacks on schools and hospitals as a trigger for its implementation.

Under the Council Presidency of Germany the debate included 49 representatives addressing the plight of children in armed conflict and encouraging progress to be made. Statements were made by Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy and the Executive Director of UNICEF, Anthony Lake.

The Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and other high-level representatives addressed the Council including, Colombia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Portugal, and the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development of South Africa.

Among the members of the Council, Colombia, Russia and India made strong statements. Colombia’s Foreign Minister said: “It is entirely naive to think that the United Nations or any other multilateral organization can change the minds of terrorist organizations (…). For that reason Colombia believes that the stated intention of agencies of the United Nations system to attempt to talk to those groups directly and without the consent of Governments is inadmissible and unacceptable”. Russia disputed the references in the Secretary-General’s 10th annual report on Children and Armed Conflict to India, Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines and Haiti, claiming that the situations in those countries could not be called armed conflict. India expressed its concern about the manner in which Security Council resolutions are being interpreted, and cautioned against “mandate creep”.

Click here to read the transcript of the open debate (AM)

Click here to read the transcript of the open debate (PM)