UN Security Council adopts Resolution 2427 to protect children in armed conflict
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has adopted Resolution 2427 aimed at providing legal framework for mainstreaming protection, rights, well-being and empowerment of children throughout the conflict cycle. The resolution has won unanimous approval of the 15 members of the council.
The resolution strongly condemns recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts as well as their re-recruitment, killing and rape, maiming and other forms of sexual violence and abductions. It also condemns attacks against schools and hospitals and denial of humanitarian access by parties to armed conflict and all other violations of international law committed against children in situations of armed conflict.
It demands that all relevant parties immediately put end to such practices and take special measures to protect children. It also emphasizes responsibility of all states to put end to impunity and investigate and prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes perpetrated against children.
It reiterates UNSC’s readiness to adopt targeted and graduated measures against persistent perpetrators of violations and abuses committed against children. It calls on member states and UN to mainstream child protection into all relevant activities in prevention of conflict, during conflict and post-conflict situations with aim of sustaining peace and preventing conflict.
It recalls importance of ensuring that children continue to have access to basic services during the conflict and post-conflict periods, including education and health care and urges UN member states and bodies and civil society to take specifically into account girls’ equal access to education.
It also stresses importance of long-term and sustainable funding for mental health and psychosocial programming in humanitarian contexts and ensuring all affected children receive timely and sufficient support and encourage donors to integrate mental health and psychosocial services in all humanitarian responses.
According to annual report of UN Secretary-General on children and armed conflict, over 21,000 cases of grave violations of children’s rights in armed conflict were verified in 2017. It is drastic increase from previous year (2016) with 15,500 violations. Among the violations in 2017, over 15,000 violations were perpetrated by non-state armed groups and about 6,000 were committed by government forces.
UN Security Council (UNSC)
UNSC is most powerful and one of the six principal organs UN. Under, UN Charter it has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 members, including five permanent ones with power of veto. The five permanent members are China, France, Russia, UK and US. 10 non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms each. Its powers include establishment of peacekeeping operations, establishment of international sanctions, and authorization of military action through UNSC resolutions. It is only UN body with authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.
Functions of UNSC
It is responsible for determining existence of threat against peace and to respond to act of aggression. It is also responsible for finding peaceful means to settle conflict or dispute between states. In some cases, it resorts to sanctions or even authorise use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security. It also recommends to UNGA appointment of UN Secretary General and admission of new members to the UN.