Former child soldier to address Security Council debate on children and armed conflict
The address by Alhaji Sawaneh will be the first time that the Council has invited a child to address the 15-member body and highlights the importance of involving children in decisions that directly affect them, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said in a statement.
The meeting, which will be chaired by the current President of the Council, Ambassador Patricia Durrant of Jamaica, is expected to hear from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, his Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara Otunnu, and UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy.
In August 1999 and again in 2000, the Council adopted a resolution that asked Mr. Annan to include in his annual reports on children and armed conflict a list of countries or parties to conflicts that recruit youngsters into their armed forces. It also called for unhindered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and immunization efforts in war zones, an examination of the roles and responsibilities of corporate actors in conflict situations and an end to impunity for crimes against children in conflict situations.