On 8 September 2014, the second Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict took place this year under the Presidency of the United States. It followed the 1 July publication of the Secretary-General’s 13th Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict. The Council was briefed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (SRSG-CAAC), Ms. Leila Zerrougui, and was additionally addressed by Mr. Forest Whitaker, Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation of UNESCO, and Ms. Sandra Uwiringiyimana, a young survivor from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Sixty-one delegations representing more than 120 countries participated in the debate.
The debate was generally positive and manifested broad support for strengthening implementation of the Security Council’s Children and Armed Conflict (CAC) agenda. In their statements, delegations made mentions of the Children Not Soldiers joint campaign by UNICEF and OSRSG-CAAC, child protection in peacekeeping, military use of schools, and specific country situations where children are affected by conflict, including Gaza, Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Syria. Support was also expressed explicitly for the following: ending abductions of children in Nigeria and Iraq, with 21 delegations mentioning abductions in Nigeria; the need to address the problem of persistent perpetrators and the support for targeted measures against perpetrators of grave violations; the need for a UN Peacekeeping policy banning listed countries from contributing troops to peacekeeping missions until action plans have been signed and implemented, as well as the training of peacekeepers on child protection. Ten delegations also spoke on the importance of ending the military use of schools, and 9 explicitly mentioned the Draft Lucens Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use During Armed Conflict.
The first Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict took place on 7 March 2014 under the Presidency of Luxembourg, resulting in the adoption of the Security Council Resolution 2143. In light of this resolution, no outcome document was expected for the September Open Debate.
Watchlist’s analytical summary of the debate provides more detail regarding specific themes featured in the debate, as well as an overview of the statements by participating delegations that pertain to Watchlist’s recommendations to the United Nations Security Council.