|Security Council Debate on Children and Armed Conflict - Statement by Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations|
|Thursday, 17 July 2008 13:39|
Page 1 of 2Let me thank you, Mr. President, for convening this debate. Sri Lanka is particularly pleased to take the floor on this important issue under the guidance of the delegation of Vietnam.
This meeting provides an opportunity to refocus our efforts in addressing the scourge of recruitment and use of child combatants. The reports of the Secretary-General on specific situations, as well as his Annual Report, S/2007/757 are informative and illustrative in this regard.
This debate takes place three years into the adoption of Resolution 1612. The journey between 1612 and today, has been marked by the establishment of task forces for monitoring and reporting, the evaluation of the monitoring and reporting mechanism, the adoption of the Paris Principles and Commitments and the ten-year review of Graça Machel’s report. These initiatives, together with relevant international legal instruments, have helped strengthen the protection framework for children in armed conflict, in its practical and normative aspects. However, the menace of recruitment and use of child combatants continues unabated and remains as the major concern. Therefore, current efforts in the Council in taking measures against persistent violators of such crimes needs to be intensified in a more realistic and practically effective manner.
In this regard we compliment the efforts taken so far by the Working Group of the Council on Children and Armed Conflict, in recalibrating the monitoring and reporting mechanism. It is our hope that these efforts and measures adopted by the Working Group would eventually lead to the elimination of the pernicious offence of recruitment and use of children for armed hostilities. However, to achieve this end, it is important that the Council and the Working Group, at this point, remain essentially focused on this most urgent task in a more coherent manner, and not seek to broaden the canvas to include other issues, which are not of immediate practical benefit. Actions that make a difference on the ground should engage our attention in our effort for concerted international and national measures to bring perpetrators to justice. In this context, let me offer some views on this issue on Children and Armed Conflict for consideration of the Council, the Working Group, and the Secretary-General.