Panel Discussion: UN Efforts to End Grave Violations against Children in Conflict Situations

Event Date: 
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Event Time: 
3:30 p.m.
Location: 
Dodds Auditorium

The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination will sponsor a panel discussion, "UN Efforts to End Grave Violations against Children in Conflict Situations," on Thursday, December 12, 2013, at 3:30 p.m. in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall, on the Princeton University campus. Panel participants will include Amb. Sylvie Lucas, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the UN and Chair of the Security Council Working Group for Children and Armed Conflict; Under Secretary-General Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict; Amb. Jean-Marc De la Sablière, former Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations and the first Chair of the Security Council Working Group for Children and Armed Conflict; and Jo Becker, Advocacy Director of the Children’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch. The event is free and open to the public.

A video of the panel is available for viewing on LISD's YouTube Channel.

The public panel is the plenary session of a private workshop on children and armed conflict, to be held Friday, December 13. The workshop will focus on identifying specific, concrete actions to strengthen the implementation of the Children and Armed Conflict agenda. The objective of the meeting is to bring together international policy makers and actors engaged in implementation of the UN’s Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism to discuss specific, concrete, and targeted actions that can be taken within the framework of the UN’s Children and Armed Conflict agenda to put an end to and to prevent the recruitment and use of children by state actors and non-state armed groups, as well as to end and to prevent other grave violations against children. Three working sessions will take place, devoted to 1) the recruitment and use of children by state actors, 2) the recruitment and use of children by non-state armed groups, and 3) other grave violations against children, specifically attacks on schools and hospitals. Participants will include representatives of UN Security Council Members, other UN Member States, relevant UN departments and offices, and civil society. The workshop is co-sponsored by organized by the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, and the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the United Nations. 

Panelists:

Sylvie Lucas is Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the United Nations, and Chair of the Security Council Working Group for Children and Armed Conflict. She was President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) from January 2009 to January 2010. In September 2008 she was elected Vice-President of ECOSOC.

In 1988 Lucas received a Master's degree in history from the Université des Sciences Humaines (University of Social Sciences) (now the University of Strasbourg) and, in 1989, a Master's degree in political science and administration from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. From 1990 to 1995 she worked at the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs, first for a year in the Department of Political and Cultural Affairs, and then in the Department of International Relations and Economic Affairs. From 1995 to 2000 she was the deputy permanent representative of Luxembourg to the United Nations. She then returned to the Department of Political Affairs as deputy director from 2000 to 2003. In 2003, Lucas became Luxembourg's ambassador to Portugal and Cape Verde, and in 2008 became Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the UN.

Leila Zerrougui is Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict. She was appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict at the Under Secretary-General level in September 2012. In this capacity, she serves as a moral voice and independent advocate to build awareness and give prominence to the rights and protection of boys and girls affected by armed conflict. Immediately prior to this appointment she was the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Deputy Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) where, since 2008, she spearheaded the Mission’s efforts in strengthening the rule of law and protection of civilians. As a legal expert in human rights and the administration of justice, Zerrougui has had a distinguished career in the strengthening of the rule of law and in championing strategies and actions for the protection of vulnerable groups especially women and children. A lawyer by training, Zerrougui was a member of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention under the United Nations Human Rights Council from 2001, and served as the Working Group’s Chairperson-Rapporteur from 2003 until May 2008. Prior to her international engagements, Zerrougui had a longstanding career in the Algerian judiciary and in 2000, was appointed to the Algerian Supreme Court. She served as a juvenile judge and judge of first instance from 1980 to 1986, and as an appeals court judge from 1986 to 1997. From 1998 to 2000, she served as legal adviser to the Cabinet of the Ministry of Justice and, from 2000 to 2008, as legal adviser to the cabinet of the President of the Republic. She also worked at various high level positions within the Algerian government and was member of the Algerian National Commission on the Reform of the Judiciary. Zerrougui graduated from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (Algiers) in 1980. Since 1993, she has held various academic positions at law schools in Algeria, and was associate professor of the Ecole Supérieure de la Magistrature (Algiers). She has published extensively on the administration of justice and human rights.

Jean-Marc De la Sablière was the Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations from 2002 to 2007, during which he played a leading role in shaping the UN's Children and Armed Conflict Agenda and was the first Chair of the Security Council Working Group for Children and Armed Conflict. Prior to his UN appointment, he had been diplomatic adviser to President Chirac. He has been the Ambassador of France in Italy since September 2007. He is a former student of the École Nationale d'Administration (ÉNA), and graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po).

Jo Becker is Advocacy Director for the Children's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch. Becker frequently represents Human Rights Watch before the media, government officials, and the general public on issues including child soldiers, abusive child labor, and juvenile justice, her primary areas of expertise. Becker founded the International Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers and was a leading advocate for the international treaty prohibiting the use of child combatants, adopted by the United Nations in 2000. She has conducted fact-finding missions on child soldiers in Northern Uganda, Burma, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Before joining Human Rights Watch in 1997, Becker was the executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a national interfaith peace and justice organization. She graduated from Goshen College in Indiana and has a M.A. in Political Science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.