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Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (A/73/278)

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Summary

The present report is submitted to the General Assembly pursuant to its resolution 72/245 on the rights of the child, in which it requested the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict to continue to submit reports to the Assembly on the activities undertaken in the fulfilment of her mandate and on the progress achieved in advancing the children and armed conflict agenda. The report covers the period from August 2017 to July 2018. It describes trends, issues of concern and progress made over the past year, including the mainstreaming of child protection issues within the United Nations system. It also provides information on the field visits of the Special Representative, on her engagement with regional organizations, civil society and international partners and on dialogue with parties to conflict. It outlines challenges and priorities in her agenda and concludes with a set of recommendations to enhance the protection of children affected by conflict.

I. Introduction

  1. In its resolution 72/245, the General Assembly requested the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (the Special Representative) to continue to submit reports to it and the Human Rights Council on the activities undertaken in the fulfilment of her mandate, including information on her field visits, on progress achieved and challenges remaining on the children and armed conflict agenda. The request stemmed from the mandate given by the Assembly in its resolution 51/77, in which it recommended, inter alia, that the Special Representative raise awareness and promote the collection of information about the plight of children affected by armed conflict and foster international cooperation to ensure respect for children’s rights in these situations.

  2. In line with that mandate, and as requested by the Assembly in its resolution72/245, the present report provides information on current trends regarding children affected by armed conflict and gives an overview of emerging issues and challenges, including on the cross-border nature of grave violations and the relationship between preventing violations of children’s rights and the United Nations broader sustaining peace agenda. It also highlights the ongoing engagement with parties to conflict to end and prevent grave violations as well as efforts undertaken with a broad range of actors to raise global awareness and catalyse action on the issue. In the present report, reference is also made to steps taken by the Special Representative in response to the request contained in resolution 72/245 that she increase her engagement with States, United Nations bodies and agencies, regional organizations and, especially, subregional organizations and increase public awareness activities, including by collecting, assessing and disseminating best practices and lessons learned, in accordance with the existing mandate.