“THE SITUATION OF CHILD SOLDIERS, PARTICULARLY IN AFRICA"
would like to thank you for the initiative of calling this debate on the
situation of child soldiers.
The delegation of Brazil highly appreciates Your Excellency’s presiding
over this meeting, as it demonstrates Benin’s commitment and as it contributes
to endowing the matter before us with the required political relevance and
wish as well to thank Secretary-General Kofi Annan for the preparation of his
fifth report on Children and Armed Conflict (S/2005/72), which serves as the
basis for our deliberations.
situation of children affected by armed conflict has grave consequences for the
international peace and security agenda.
Violations committed against children by armed groups – not just
recruitment, but other egregious violations as well – seriously compromise the
prospects of war-torn countries.
In Africa, particularly, the situation of children affected by armed
conflict is extremely serious and poses a serious challenge that should be met.
the Graça Machel report in 1996, the need to take action has been receiving
growing international recognition.
We appreciate the work done by the the Special Representative of the
Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, Mr. Olara Otunnu, and by his
Office, in order to raise awareness of this issue and to help develop a body of
norms for the treatment of children affected by armed conflict.
the prominence of the issue, the next step, as the Secretary-General indicates
in his report, is to take effective measures in order to ensure “the era of
developments are currently underway, such as the gradual integration of children
affected by armed conflict issues in peacekeeping activities, for which the
inclusion of Child Protection Advisers in peacekeeping operations has proved
The development of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration
programmes that take into account the specific needs of children, as encouraged
by the Secretary-General in his report, is also promising.
response of the UN system to the situation of children affected by armed
conflict will need, however, significant improvement in order to ensure that the
“era of application” will become a reality.
Given the diversity of actors involved – UNICEF, OCHA, UNPKO, UNHCR,
UNHCHR, UNDP, to name a few -, responsibilities must be assigned and
sistematization is required.
in mind the proposals contained in the SG’s report, Brazil supports enhancing
the efficiency of the UN system for gathering, compiling and vetting information
on violations, in partnership with national governments and civil society.
In addition, every care will be needed in order to ensure the application
around the world of any measures to be adopted by the Council.
is essential to obtain precise and reliable information on the situation of
children affected by armed conflict.
appreciate, as well, the recognition in the Secretary-General’s report of the
many “destinations for action” which may make use of the information
compiled, and exert their influence in order to hold violators accountable.
Security Council must continue to demonstrate its political will, but while
remaining seized of this issue, the Council must also recognize the essential
roles of - and collaborate closely with – other “destinations for action”,
such as the General Assembly and ECOSOC, equipped as they are to respond to the
social and economic dimensions of this complex issue.
International Criminal Court – as indicated in the SG’s report – can also
play a decisive role in deterring violations against children in the context of
Provided with access to reliable information, the capacity of the ICC to
fulfil its mandate to prosecute those responsible for war crimes against
children would be greatly enhanced.
is fully committed to the cause of promoting and protecting the rights of the
child in general, and we are determined to furthering the agenda of protection
for children affected by armed conflict in the Security Council.
life and security for children everywhere is a key goal for Brazil.
is unacceptable that violations of the rights of children in the context of
armed conflicts continue to undermine the future of nations. The Council should
work towards finding long-lasting solutions to this grievous situation, and
contributing towards ending the impunity of violators of the rights of children
in conflict situations.
you Mr. President.