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Cablegate: Unsc Calls for Increased Accountability On

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0140/01 0451405
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141405Z FEB 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3732
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHAB/AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN 1171
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 0246
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 0336
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1112
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 0240

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000140

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PGOV PHUM PREF UNSC BM FR
SUBJECT: UNSC CALLS FOR INCREASED ACCOUNTABILITY ON
CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT

REF: STATE 14292

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict
(CAAC) Radhika Coomaraswamy on February 12 urged the Council
to implement targeted measures against persistent violators
against children. She also called for the Council to add
rape/sexual violence as a trigger to list a country in the
annexes of the Secretary General's report for the application
of the monitoring and reporting mechanism. 42 delegations
spoke in addition to Council members. Many delegations
echoed the SRSG's requests, and they also called for the
inclusion of child protection advisers within UN peacekeeping
forces, increased referrals to the ICC, and a focus on
reintegration efforts. Russian PR Churkin raised the
situation of children in Iraq and Afghanistan, emphasizing
the responsibility of all parties, including multi-national
forces, to abide by international humanitarian law. Churkin
asked the SRSG why her report did not address the death of
children caused by private security firms in Iraq. Libyan PR
Ettalhi and other Arab delegations focused their comments on
Israel and condemned air bombing operations by coalition
forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some nations under review by
the CAAC Working Group commented on their status. Council
members adopted a PRST at the close of the meeting. END
SUMMARY.

SRSG CALLS FOR TARGETED MEASURES
--------------------------------

2. (SBU) Special Representative of the Secretary-General
(SRSG) for Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) Radhika
Coomaraswamy urged the Council to implement concrete and
targeted measures against the 16 persistent violators listed
in the annexes of the SYG's report for five consecutive
years. She also urged the Council to include rape/sexual
violence as an additional trigger to list a country in the
annexes for the application of the monitoring and reporting
(M&R) mechanism. She viewed this as a first step toward
incorporating all six grave violations as triggers. (NOTE:
The Council currently uses one grave violation, the
recruitment and use of child soldiers, as a trigger. The
other five grave violations are killing or maiming of
children, attacks against schools or hospitals, rape and
other grave sexual violence against children, the abduction
of children, and the denial of humanitarian access to
children. END NOTE.)

3. (SBU) The SRSG highlighted achievements of the past year,
including six meetings of the Council's Working Group (WG) on
CAAC, trials of offenders in the Democratic Republic of
Congo, the de-listing of Cote d'Ivoire from Annex I, and
other steps forward in the Central African Republic, Burma,
Sudan, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Chad, and Colombia. She called for
the Council and the WG to adapt to the changing
characteristics of conflict, including the rise of non-State
actors, use of children in terrorist acts including suicide
bombings, impact of collateral damage caused by
counter-terrorism strategies, targeting of schools
(especially in Afghanistan), use of indiscriminate weapons
such as cluster munitions, detention of children for alleged
association with armed groups, and increased sexual and
gender-based violence.

UNICEF FOCUSES ON REINTEGRATION
-------------------------------

4. (SBU) UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman highlighted
UNICEF's efforts to reintegrate children who had been
involved in armed forces and groups and called on states to
endorse the 2007 Paris Commitments, which addressed
reintegration. Veneman urged the Council to address the
resurgence of preventable disease in conflict/post-conflict
areas due to breakdowns in health facilities. She also
condemned the use of cluster munitions and attacks against
schools, and she urged the Council to use all grave
violations as triggers, especially sexual violence.

WATCHLIST PUSHES FOR ACCOUNTABILITY
-----------------------------------

5. (SBU) Watchlist on CAAC representative Jo Becker urged the
Council to hold violators accountable by imposing targeted
measures, especially against the persistent violators named
in all five of the SYG's reports. She also called for the
Council to use all six grave violations as triggers, starting


with sexual violence.

U.S. CALLS FOR DDR FOCUS
-------------------------

6. (SBU) Ambassador Wolff urged the Council to continue to
focus on Burma, Southern Sudan, Darfur, and Chad, and to
continue demobilization, disarmament, and reintegration (DDR)
efforts. He expressed US support for targeted measures
against persistent offenders and for the development of
action plans to monitor compliance. Wolff noted US
disagreement with two areas of the SYG report, arguing that
the Council should not have a general policy of referring
cases to the International Criminal Court (ICC), and that the
WG should allow weapons experts groups to address the issue
of cluster munitions. (Reftel).

DELEGATES CALL FOR INCREASED ACCOUNTABILITY
-------------------------------------------

7. (SBU) The French delegation, represented by Foreign
Minister Kouchner, urged the WG to do more in Sri Lanka, the
DRC and Burma. He called for the Council to fulfill its
responsibilities and allow the WG to implement targeted
measures. Many other delegations warned that the Council's
credibility was at stake and urged members to hold violators
accountable through targeted measures (including sanctions),
action plans, and additional options in the WG toolkit.
However, China, Libya, Egypt, and Colombia opposed targeted
measures. A large number of delegations, including UK,
France, South Africa, and Italy, urged the Council to refer
violators who were not persecuted by their national
governments to the ICC.

8. (SBU) A majority of delegations called for the Council to
include sexual violence as a trigger to launch the monitoring
and reporting (M&R) mechanism and annexation process, with
most noting that this would be a first step toward including
all six violations as triggers.

9. (SBU) Many delegations called for expansion of
reintegration efforts. French Foreign Minister Kouchner said
the next forum on the Paris Commitments (a set of principles
aimed at strengthening action on the issue) would take place
in September on the sidelines of the UNGA and would focus on
reintegration. Japanese PR Takasu said Japan, as initiator
of the Friends of Human Security in New York, would integrate
the DDR approach into relevant UN policies and programs.
Brazilian PR Viotti, joined by El Salvadorean PR Hernandez
and Peruvian PR Tincopa, called for the Peacebuilding
Commission to discuss concrete DDR measures. A number of
delegations, including UK, South Africa, Panama, EU, and
Japan called for child protection advisers to be included in
UN peacekeeping operations.

10. (SBU) Italy, Canada, and Slovenia (on behalf of the EU)
called for a new Security Council Resolution. The Slovenian
PR recommended the resolution build on the experience of the
issue in the Working Group and incorporate the
recommendations of the SYG. Italian U/S for Foreign Affairs
Craxi recommended incorporating lessons learned into a new
resolution, and the Canadian PR requested the expansion of
the M&R mechanism to include sexual violence.

11. (SBU) Chinese PR Wang, Vietnamese PR Minh, and Indonesian
PR Natalegawa called for the Council to address the roots of
the conflicts and to focus on peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
Wang and Minh urged Council members to recognize the roles
of the national governments and engage them in dialogue.

IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN
--------------------

12. (SBU) Russian PR Churkin focused much of his statement on
the situation of children in Afghanistan and Iraq and
emphasized the responsibility of all parties, including
multinational forces, to abide by international humanitarian
law. He said that more attention should be paid to Iraq,
including the incarceration of children by multinational
forces and Al-Qaida's use of child soldiers. He expressed
disappointment that the SYG's report did not address
children's deaths caused by the private security firms in
Iraq. He supported the decision to include the Taliban on
the list of violators, which opens the door for a WG review.
Libyan PR Ettalhi condemned the effect of air bombing


operations by coalition forces on children in Iraq and
Afghanistan and supported a convention banning cluster bombs.


13. (SBU) Iraqi PR Al-Beyati indicated children in Iraq have
been suffering for decades, first under dictatorship and
international sanctions, and now due to terrorist acts. He
said protecting children is a priority in Iraq and that Prime
Minister Al-Maliki has established a committee to create and
implement an Iraqi Child Law. The Afghan PR said increased
terrorists attacks against Afghani schools had resulted in
300,000 children being out of school. He urged the
international community to focus on poverty alleviation and
to help create employment opportunities for youth in
Afghanistan.

ISRAEL AND PALESTINE
--------------------

14. (SBU) Libyan PR Ettalhi condemned Israeli military
operations that he claimed killed more than 500 children in
the past year, and he called on the international community
to address the situation of children detained in Israeli
prisons. Egyptian PR Abdelaziz said Israel should be
referred to in the annexes because of its activities in the
Palestinian, Lebanese, and Syrian "occupied territories."
Permanent Observer of Palestine Mansour said nearly 1000
Palestinian children had been killed since 2000 due to
Israeli military assaults, and he noted 67 children had died
due to Israel's obstruction of access to Gaza.

15. (SBU) Israeli PR Gillerman condemned the use of children
in terrorist activities and the targeting of civilians by
Hamas. He underlined the dangers of extremist ideologies and
warned against Palestinian attempts to indoctrinate children
into terrorism. He was concerned that the methodologies used
in compiling the SYG report relied too heavily on
unsubstantiated reports, third-party testimonials, and
hearsay.

NATIONS LISTED IN ANNEXES
-------------------------

16. (SBU) Several delegations from nations under WG M&R made
statements to the Council, including the Philippines, Nepal,
Uganda, Sri Lanka, Cote d'Ivoire, Burma, and Colombia. The
Philippine, Colombian, Nepalese, and Sri Lankan PRs reported
actions taken by their governments to address the WG's
concerns. Sri Lankan PR Kariyawasam supported targeted
measures against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The Cote D'Ivoire representative praised the WG and the
Office of the SRSG for giving his country the opportunity to
eradicate the unlawful recruitment and use of children. He
promised his country would redouble its efforts on child
protection and invited the Council to continue to weigh in on
Cote d'Ivoire's progress.

17. (SBU) The Burmese and Ugandan PRs protested the inclusion
of their nations in the annexes. The Burmese PR claimed that
962 children have been released since 2002. He said they are
fully cooperating with Resolution 1612, allowing access to
and cooperation with the SRSG and UNCT, and that Member
States claims against this were inaccurate. Ugandan PR
Lukwiya was angry that his government's efforts to implement
the action plan and work with the SRSG had not been
recognized, and he threatened to suspend his nation's
cooperation with the SRSG if Uganda's concerns were not
addressed.

18. (SBU) Council members adopted a PRST at the close of the
meeting (S/PRST/2008/6). Statements in full can be viewed:
www.un.org/Depts/dhl/resguide/scact2008.htm under Meeting
Record S/PV.5834
WOLFF

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