New York, 2 September 2021 – The Platform, a coalition of armed movements signatory of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, signed Action Plans with the United Nations to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children as well as other grave violations against children in armed conflict. The Platform, including affiliated groups, is listed in the Annexes of the UN Secretary-General Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict for the recruitment and use of children.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, signed earlier this week the Action Plans as a witness.
“The signature of Action Plans by the Platform is a positive step to end but also to prevent the recruitment and use of children in Mali as it is also binding for all entities under Platform’s umbrella”, said Virginia Gamba. “Through a framework and a set of timebound activities, the Action Plans will contribute to strengthen the protection of children across Mali.”
With the Action Plans, the Platform commits among other things to the release and handover of all children present in the ranks of its members to civilian actors, to end the military use of schools and education facilities and to guarantee the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all children.
“Committing to an Action Plan marks the start of an important process. The United Nations will continue its engagement with the Platform to ensure its full implementation. We count on the support of the Government of Mali to facilitate this process for the best interest of children. We further encourage the Government of Mali to develop national prevention policies to better protect children from armed conflict, as expressed in the 2018 UN Security Council Resolution 2427 ,” added Virginia Gamba.
The Special Representative emphasized that to fully regain their place in their communities, released children should receive long-term and sustainable reintegration support including through psycho-social support, education, and livelihood activities. She called on the international community to engage in political and financial support of reintegration activities in this regard, including through the Global Coalition for Reintegration of Child Soldiers.
Note to editors
Platform has been listed in the Annexes of the UN Secretary-General Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict since 2018.
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Fabienne Vinet, Communications Officer, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict +1-212-963-5986 (office) / +1-917-288-5791 (mobile) / email@example.com