Security open debate on Children in Armed Conflict

On Wednesday September 19th 2012, the Security Council held an open debate on Children in Armed Conflict (CAAC). The main focus was the Secretary-General Report on Children and Armed Conflict (S/2012/261). The council adopted Resolution 2068 on CAAC, which addressed the issue of persistent perpetrators and the need to end impunity through the use of national and international justice mechanisms.

Out of the collective forty-six statements, twelve Member States made gender references, as did Special Representative Leila Zerrougui, Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous and UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. The majority of these statements referred to sexual violence, systematic rape and sexual torture perpetrated against young girls during times of armed conflict, and did not refer to the agency of girls and young women or their role in conflict prevention, resolution or reconciliation and recovery.

Unlike last year's debate, not one statement made direct reference to UN Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325, 1820, 1888, 1889 and 1960). It must be remembered that sexual violence as experienced by children in armed conflict is not mutually exclusive from sexual violence as expressed in resolutions on Women, Peace and Security; and that even the young are more than just passive victims during conflict, who also possess the potential to actively contribute to conflict prevention, reconciliation and recovery.