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UN Peacekeepers Day 2019:
The Role of UN Peacekeeping in the Protection of Children in Armed Conflict
Co-sponsored by European Union Delegation and Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations and Save the Children
WHEN: Wednesday, 29 May 2019, 1.15pm-2.30pm
VENUE: CR 12, UN HQ
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The International Day of UN Peacekeepers presents an opportunity to highlight the significant contribution of UN peacekeeping to protecting children in situations of armed conflict, as well as the need to ensure that adequate resources are made available for specialized staff in peacekeeping and political missions to carry out this important work. In a panel discussion format, experts from the UN and civil society will comment on their experience with UN peacekeeping and child protection, commenting specifically on progress and challenges in implementing the Council’s mandates. The discussion should raise awareness about critical child protection functions, and the need to safeguard space for child protection within UN Peacekeeping Missions.
1.15pm-1.25pm Opening remarks by
Ambassador Silvio Gonzato, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to the UN and
Ambassador Mohammad K. Koba, Deputy Permanent Representative of Indonesia.
1.25pm-2pm Panel discussion moderated by Ambassador Gonzato with:
2.25-2.30pm Closing remarks by the panelists and moderator
The theme for this year’s International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers Day is “Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace” and the international community will observe the day with activities focused on the protection of civilians, including child protection.
Since 2001, the UN Security Council has consistently included child protection in its resolutions mandating peacekeeping operations. Today, five field missions -- MINUSCA in the Central African Republic, MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MINUSMA in Mali, UNAMID in Sudan, and UNMISS in South Sudan – have stand-alone child protection capacities. This includes budgetary and human resources specifically dedicated to the work of child protection, which are varied by the size of the peacekeeping operation.
The DPKO-DFS-DPA Policy on Child Protection sets out the child protection role of UN staff in both peacekeeping operations and special political missions. These child protection activities are implemented in close collaboration with UNICEF and the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Children and Armed Conflict.
UN Child Protection Advisers (CPAs) are specialized staff in field missions who carry out a critical role in implementing the Security Council’s mandates on child protection. This includes advising senior mission leadership on child protection issues and relevant actions to be taken, with particular attention to the mission's overall work, which includes mediation and national reconciliation efforts; monitoring grave violations committed against children in situations of armed conflict, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004), 1612 (2005) and other relevant resolutions; and engaging in dialogue with parties to conflict on the signing and implementation of Security Council-mandated action plans to halt and prevent grave violations against children, among other core tasks.
Once the Council mandates child protection in peacekeeping through its resolutions, it is critical that the UN’s Fifth (Budget) Committee takes into account the need to ensure that each mission has sufficient resources and capacity to implement its mandate. It is therefore important that United Nations Member States understand their crucial role in ensuring that the tools exist to implement the Council’s resolutions on child protection. This is particularly important in the face of a growing trend of the grave violations of children’s rights on the ground, as reported through the Secretary-General in his annual and country-specific reports on Children and Armed Conflict, as well as the austerity measures the UN is facing with respect to decreased operational budgets, particularly in peacekeeping.
Conference Room 12
United Nations Headquarters
10017 New York
United States of America