Priorities for the UN's Children and Armed Conflict Agenda, 2018
The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination will co-sponsor a workshop, "Priorities for the UN's Children and Armed Conflict Agenda, 2018," January 26, 2018, on the Princeton University campus. The workshop is co-sponsored with the NGO Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict and will bring together international policy-makers and key UN and NGO actors to discuss specific, concrete, and targeted actions that can be taken within the framework of the UN’s Children and Armed Conflict (CAC) agenda to improve and strengthen the CAC agenda, and to better incorporate child protection measures into mediation processes and peace agreements.
The workshop sessions are private and by invitation only. Princeton University faculty and students are invited to attend and should RSVP to Angella Matheney by Monday, January 22.
This is the fourth annual workshop co-sponsored by LISD and Watchlist held at Princeton University that serve as a convening space for members of the UN Security Council’s Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (SCWG-CAAC), and which focus on facilitating input for the Working Group's agenda in 2018, chaired through 2017-18 by Sweden. The workshops engage participants on priorities through targeted conversations focusing both on procedures and themes relevant for the Working Group over the next calendar year. Established by Security Council Resolution 1612 in 2005, the SCWG-CAAC is a central driver of the CAAC agenda implementation. It is mandated to review the Secretary-General’s country-specific reports produced by the UN-led Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) and adopt conclusions with recommendations on the basis of those reports. The SCWG-CAAC also reviews progress on action plan development and implementation, and recommends other measures to promote child protection throughout the UN system, for instance by strengthening child protection provisions in peacekeeping mandates.
The January 2018 workshop will consist of three working sessions focusing on: (1) a CAAC agenda introduction and updated overview of trends and priorities, (2) the SCWG-CAAC and its working methods, and (3) a thematic discussion on addressing child protection in mediation and peace processes. A closing wrap-up session will summarize the findings and recommendations of the workshop and will consider how these recommendations could be taken forward in 2018, particularly in the context of the Security Council’s thematic debates on Children and Armed Conflict, in the Working Group’s consideration of country-specific situations, and other activities on the Council’s agenda relevant to strengthening the CAAC agenda.
During the first working session, the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (OSRSG-CAAC), the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), and UNICEF (tbc) will introduce several timely initiatives and topics with an outlook to next year, reflecting on the current status of the CAAC agenda. This session will include a presentation by DPKO on the status of child protection in all UN peacekeeping missions with explicit Security Council mandates related to CAAC.
The second session will focus on the SCWG-CAAC working methods. Watchlist and Security Council Report will present their recent policy papers reflecting on, among others, the quantity and quality of the Working Group activities over the first decade of its existence (2006-2016). Participants will use those reflections to concretely support the Working Group in identifying actions to take forward in 2018 to further improve its impact on addressing the grave violations on the ground.
The third session will be thematic in nature, focusing on the question of effective integration of child protection within mediation and peace processes that builds upon Watchlist and LISD’s work from 2015 and 2016 with child protection partners towards developing soft guidance for mediators in form of a checklist. In particular, the participants will discuss operationalizing the Security Council’s call from its recent Presidential Statement (PRST/2017/21) on CAAC that “encouraged the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, together with relevant child protection actors, to carry out lessons learned initiatives in order to compile comprehensive best practices on the children and armed conflict mandate, including practical guidance on the integration of child protection issues in peace processes.”