Security Council Resolution 1612 - Children Affected by Armed Conflict

Summary: In a major and ground-breaking development,
the UN Security Council voted unanimously for
a series of measures, including the
establishment of a comprehensive monitoring
and reporting mechanism, to ensure the
protection of children exposed to armed
conflict.

 

The Security Council,

Reaffirming its resolutions 1261 (1999) of 25 August 1999, 1314 (2000) of
11 August 2000, 1379 (2001) of 20 November 2001, 1460 (2003) of 30
January 2003, and 1539 (2004) of 22 April 2004, which contribute to a
comprehensive framework for addressing the protection of children
affected by armed conflict,

While noting the advances made for the protection of children affected by
armed conflict, particularly in the areas of advocacy and the development
of norms and standards, remaining deeply concerned over the lack of
overall progress on the ground, where parties to conflict continue to
violate with impunity the relevant provisions of applicable international law
relating to the rights and protection of children in armed conflict,

Stressing the primary role of national governments in providing effective
protection and relief to all children affected by armed conflicts,

Recalling the responsibilities of States to end impunity and to prosecute
those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and
other egregious crimes perpetrated against children,

Convinced that the protection of children in armed conflict should be
regarded as an important aspect of any comprehensive strategy to resolve
conflict,

Reiterating its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international
peace and security and, in this connection, its commitment to address the
widespread impact of armed conflict on children,

Stressing its determination to ensure respect for its resolutions and other
international norms and standards for the protection of children affected by
armed conflict,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 9 February 2005
(S/2005/72) and stressing that the present resolution does not seek to
make any legal determination as to whether situations which are referred
to in the Secretary-General’s report are or are not armed conflicts within
the context of the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols
thereto, nor does it prejudge the legal status of the non-State parties
involved in these situations,

Gravely concerned by the documented links between the use of child
soldiers in violation of applicable international law and the illicit trafficking
of small arms and light weapons and stressing the need for all States to
take measures to prevent and to put an end to such trafficking,

1. Strongly condemns the recruitment and use of child soldiers by parties
to armed conflict in violation of international obligations applicable to them
and all other violations and abuses committed against children in situations
of armed conflict;

2. Takes note of the action plan presented by the Secretary-General
relating to the establishment of a monitoring and reporting mechanism on
children and armed conflict as called for in paragraph 2 of its resolution
1539 (2004) and, in this regard:

(a) underlines that the mechanism is to collect and provide timely,
objective, accurate and reliable information on the recruitment and use of
child soldiers in violation of applicable international law and on other
violations and abuses committed against children affected by armed
conflict, and the mechanism will report to the working group to be created
in accordance with paragraph 8 of this resolution;

(b) underlines further that this mechanism must operate with the
participation of and in cooperation with national government and relevant
United Nations and civil society actors, including at the country-level;

(c) stresses that all actions undertaken by United Nations entities within
the framework of the monitoring and reporting mechanism must be
designed to support and supplement, as appropriate, the protection and
rehabilitation roles of national governments;

(d) also stresses that any dialogue established under the framework of the
monitoring and reporting mechanism by United Nations entities with non-
state armed groups in order to ensure protection for and access to children
must be conducted in the context of peace processes where they exist and
the cooperation framework between the United Nations and the concerned
government;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to implement without delay, the above-
mentioned monitoring and reporting mechanism, beginning with its
application, within existing resources, in close consultation with countries
concerned, to parties in situations of armed conflict listed in the annexes to
Secretary-General’s report (S/2005/72) that are on the agenda of the
Security Council, and then, in close consultation with countries concerned,
to apply it to parties in other situations of armed conflict listed in the
annexes to Secretary-General’s report (S/2005/72), bearing in mind the
discussion of the Security Council and the views expressed by Member
States, in particular during the annual debate on Children and Armed
Conflict, and also taking into account the findings and recommendations of
an independent review on the implementation of mechanism to be
reported to the Security Council by 31 July 2006. The independent review
will include:

(a) an assessment of the overall effectiveness of the mechanism, as well
as the timeliness, accuracy, objectivity and reliability of the information
compiled through the mechanism;

(b) information on how effectively the mechanism is linked to the work of
the Security Council and other organs of the United Nations;

(c) information on the relevance and clarity of the division of
responsibilities;

(d) information on the budgetary and other resource implications for United
Nations actors and voluntary funded organizations contributing to the
mechanism;

(e) recommendations for the full implementation of the mechanism;

4. Stresses that the implementation of the monitoring and reporting
mechanism by the Secretary-General will be undertaken only in the context
of and for the specific purpose of ensuring the protection of children
affected by armed conflict and shall not thereby prejudge or imply a
decision by the Security Council as to whether or not to include a situation
on its agenda;

5. Welcomes the initiatives taken by UNICEF and other United Nations
entities to gather information on the recruitment and use of child soldiers
in violation of applicable international law and on other violations and
abuses committed against children in situations of armed conflict and
invites the Secretary-General to take due account of these initiatives
during the initial phase of implementation of the mechanism referred to in
paragraph 3;

6. Notes that information compiled by this mechanism, for reporting by the
Secretary-General to the General Assembly and the Security Council, may
be considered by other international, regional and national bodies, within
their mandates and the scope of their work, in order to ensure the
protection, rights and well-being of children affected by armed conflict;

7. Expresses serious concern regarding the lack of progress in
development and implementation of the action plans called for in
paragraph 5 (a) of its resolution 1539 (2004) and, pursuant to this, calls on
the parties concerned to develop and implement action plans without
further delay, in close collaboration with United Nations peacekeeping
missions and United Nations country teams, consistent with their
respective mandates and within their capabilities; and requests the
Secretary-General to provide criteria to assist in the development of such
action plans;

8. Decides to establish a working group of the Security Council consisting
of all members of the Council to review the reports of the mechanism
referred to in paragraph 3 of this resolution, to review progress in the
development and implementation of the action plans mentioned in
paragraph 7 of this resolution and to consider other relevant information
presented to it; decides further that the working group shall:

(a) make recommendations to the Council on possible measures to
promote the protection of children affected by armed conflict, including
through recommendations on appropriate mandates for peacekeeping
missions and recommendations with respect to the parties to the conflict;

(b) address requests, as appropriate, to other bodies within the United
Nations system for action to support implementation of this resolution in
accordance with their respective mandates;

9. Recalls paragraph 5 (c) of its resolution 1539 (2004), and reaffirms its
intention to consider imposing, through country-specific resolutions,
targeted and graduated measures, such as, inter alia, a ban on the export
and supply of small arms and light weapons and of other military
equipment and on military assistance, against parties to situations of
armed conflict which are on the Security Council’s agenda and are in
violation of applicable international law relating to the rights and protection
of children in armed conflict;

10. Stresses the responsibility of United Nations peacekeeping missions
and United Nations country teams, consistent with their respective
mandates, to ensure effective follow-up to Security Council resolutions,
ensure a coordinated response to CAAC concerns and to monitor and
report to the Secretary-General;

11. Welcomes the efforts undertaken by United Nations peacekeeping
operations to implement the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy on
sexual exploitation and abuse and to ensure full compliance of their
personnel with the United Nations code of conduct, requests the Secretary-
General to continue to take all necessary action in this regard and to keep
the Security Council informed, and urges troop-contributing countries to
take appropriate preventive action including predeployment awareness
training, and to take disciplinary action and other action to ensure full
accountability in cases of misconduct involving their personnel;

12. Decides to continue the inclusion of specific provisions for the
protection of children in the mandates of United Nations peacekeeping
operations, including the deployment, on a case-by-case basis, of child-
protection advisers (CPAs), and requests the Secretary-General to ensure
that the need for and the number and roles of CPAs are systematically
assessed during the preparation of each United Nations peacekeeping
operation; welcomes the comprehensive assessment undertaken on the
role and activities of CPAs with a view to drawing lessons learned and best
practices;

13. Welcomes recent initiatives by regional and subregional organizations
and arrangements for the protection of children affected by armed conflict,
and encourages continued mainstreaming of child protection into their
advocacy, policies and programmes; development of peer review and
monitoring and reporting mechanisms; establishment, within their
secretariats, of child-protection mechanisms; inclusion of child-protection
staff and training in their peace and field operations; sub- and
interregional initiatives to end activities harmful to children in times of
conflict, in particular cross-border recruitment and abduction of children,
illicit movement of small arms, and illicit trade in natural resources through
the development and implementation of guidelines on children and armed
conflict;

14. Calls upon all parties concerned to ensure that the protection, rights
and well-being of children affected by armed conflict are specifically
integrated into all peace processes, peace agreements and post-conflict
recovery and reconstruction planning and programmes;

15. Calls upon all parties concerned to abide by the international
obligations applicable to them relating to the protection of children affected
by armed conflict as well as the concrete commitments they have made to
the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and
Armed Conflict, to UNICEF and other United Nations agencies and to
cooperate fully with the United Nations peacekeeping Missions and United
Nations country team, where appropriate, in the context of the cooperation
framework between the United Nations and the concerned government, in
the follow-up and implementation of these commitments;

16. Urges Member States, United Nations entities, regional and
subregional organizations and other parties concerned, to take
appropriate measures to control illicit subregional and cross-border
activities harmful to children, including illicit exploitation of natural
resources, illicit trade in small arms, abduction of children and their use and
recruitment as soldiers as well as other violations and abuses committed
against children in situations of armed conflict in violation of international
applicable law;

17. Urges all parties concerned, including Member States, United Nations
entities and financial institutions, to support the development and
strengthening of the capacities of national institutions and local civil society
networks for advocacy, protection and rehabilitation of children affected by
armed conflict to ensure the sustainability of local child-protection
initiatives;

18. Requests that the Secretary-General directs all relevant United Nations
entities to take specific measures, within existing resources, to ensure
systematic mainstreaming of CAAC issues within their respective
institutions, including by ensuring allocation of adequate financial and
human resources towards protection of war-affected children within all
relevant offices and departments and on the ground as well as to
strengthen, within their respective mandates, their cooperation and
coordination when addressing the protection of children in armed conflict;

19. Reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to ensure that, in all his
reports on country-specific situations, the protection of children is included
as a specific aspect of the report, and expresses its intention to give its full
attention to the information provided therein when dealing with those
situations on its agenda;

20. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report by November 2006
on the implementation of this resolution and resolutions 1379 (2001), 1460
(2003), and 1539 (2004) which would include, inter alia:

(a) Information on compliance by parties in ending the recruitment or use
of children in armed conflict in violation of applicable international law and
other violations being committed against children affected by armed conflict;

(b) Information on progress made in the implementation of the monitoring
and reporting mechanism mentioned in paragraph (3);

(c) Information on progress made in the development and implementation
of the action plans referred to in paragraph (7) of the present resolution;

(d) Information on the assessment of the role and activities of CPAs;

21. Decides to remain actively seized of this matter.

Countries