The United Nations Security Council today condemned the recruitment of child soldiers and called on Secretary-General Kofi Annan to create a monitoring mechanism, preferably within three months, "to provide timely objective, accurate and reliable information on the recruitment and use of child soldiers in violation of applicable international law."
The 15-member Council, by a unanimous vote, said it would take appropriate action to curb linkages between armed conflict, its prolongation and the smuggling of natural and other resources, trafficking in small arms and light weapons and cross-border abduction, all of which intensify the negative impact of war on children.
It asked Mr. Annan to propose effective measures to control such illicit trade and trafficking.
All governments should note the commitments they have made to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and other UN entities involved with ensuring the well-being of children and cooperate fully with these bodies in implementing their pledges.
On a case-by-case basis, the Council would make sure that child protection advisers (CPAs) were included in peacekeeping missions and "requests the Secretary-General to ensure that the need for and the number and roles of CPAs are systematically assessed during the preparation of each United Nations peacekeeping operation."
It called on States and the United Nations system "to recognize the important role of education in conflict areas in halting and preventing recruitment and re-recruitment of children contrary to the obligations of parties to conflict."