What's In Blue

Posted Fri 20 May 2011

Briefing on Children and Armed Conflict

On Monday, 23 May, the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, will be briefing the Somalia Eritrea Sanctions Committee. This will be her second briefing to a sanctions committee. (Last year in June she briefed the DRC sanctions committee which led in August to the Committee adding the charges of recruitment and use of children against nine individuals already under sanctions.)

These briefings are a follow-up to resolution 1882 on children and armed conflict which requested “enhanced communication between the Working Group and relevant Security Council Sanctions Committees, including through the exchange of pertinent information on violations and abuses committed against children in armed conflict”. Germany, as chair of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, initiated Monday’s briefing by Coomaraswamy.

Coomaraswamy is expected to give a general introduction about the monitoring and reporting mechanism in Somalia and how it could have concrete information on violations against children that could be useful to the Committee.

Committee members seem interested in learning about the Somalia situation but some are unsure if this is the right time to adopt new criteria that might impact members of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). (The TFG has been listed as a party that both recruits as well as kills and maims children in the Secretary-General’s annual report on Children and Armed Conflict.) Violations against children are not currently one of the designation criteria in the Somalia Eritrea sanctions regime. One possible opportunity to discuss this could be when the mandate of the Monitoring Group for the Somalia Eritrea Sanctions Committee comes up for renewal in July.

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