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Cablegate: Burma, Burundi, Colombia and Uganda Address Sc

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PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBZ RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHDU RUEHFL RUEHGI
RUEHJO RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHNP RUEHPA RUEHPOD
RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSL RUEHSR RUEHTRO RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUCNDT #0910 2871907
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141907Z OCT 09
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7347
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA PRIORITY 0009
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA PRIORITY 0823
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA PRIORITY 0397
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON PRIORITY 0341

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000910

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM SOCI UNSC BM CO BY UG
SUBJECT: BURMA, BURUNDI, COLOMBIA AND UGANDA ADDRESS SC
WORKING GROUP ON CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT

1. (SBU) The Security Council Working Group on Children and
Armed Conflict (WGCAAC) held a formal meeting chaired by
Mexican Permanent Representative Claude Heller on October 12
to adopt the group's conclusions on Burma and to discuss the
Secretary General's reports on children and armed conflict in
Burundi, Colombia and Uganda. UN Special Representative of
the Secretary General (SRSG) Radhiko Coomaraswamy briefed the
group on the contents of each report. Colombian Vice
President Santos Calderon represented Colombia's delegation,
Burundi Permanent Representative Gahutu and Ugandan Deputy
Permanent Representative Mugoya each responded to the
Secretary General's reports on their respective countries.
Burmese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director Genderal of
International Organizations Thant Kyaw gave a statement in
response to the WGCAAC's adoption of conclusions on Burma.

2. (SBU) Burmese Director Genderal Thant Kyaw outlined the
positive measures that Burma has taken to address child
soldiers, including passing a law prohibiting military
recruitment of those under 18. He regretted that
"anti-government groups" had provided unverified information
to the Secretary General which was included in the report.
Kyawhighlighted Burma's work with the UN Task force to update
its action plan on children and armed conflict and insisted
that forced inscription is prohibited in Burma.

3. (SBU) Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos Calderon
underscored Colombia's commitment to protecting children, but
was firm in rejecting the report's call for UN dialogue now
with armed groups including the FARC and the ENL, likening
this to negotiating with al-Queda. Santos stated that these
groups are terrorist organizations, without humanitarian
sensibilities, and that dialogue would be an "extreme step
back," citing past experience dealing with these groups and
hostage situations. Instead, Santos proposed that the CAAC
monitoring and reporting mechanism work to support Colombian
civil society and strengthen institutions, particularly
efforts to bring armed groups to justice. Austria, Croatia,
France, Japan, Turkey and the UK encouraged Colombia to, at a
minimum, consider limited UN dialogue with armed groups
within the context of UNSCR 1612. Russia agreed with
Colombia's expressed reservations and China stated that the
UN must respect the will of the country concerned, noting
that Colombia is not on the agenda of the Security Council.
The U.S. said that we support Colombia's wish that the
conclusions of the WGCAAC expressly include the need for a
permanent consultation process between the Colombian
governmnet and the UN country task force.

4. (SBU) Burundi Permanent Representative Zacharie Gahutu
welcomed the SYG's report and outlined recent progress,
including the transfer of the last known children associated
with armed groups to a reintegration center. Gahutu stated
that Burundi is developing a comprehensive strategy on
combating sexual violence, including systematic support for
children. He noted that Burundi integrated child protection
information into its military's pre-deployment training and
passed laws prohibiting recruitment of persons below age 18.
Employment of children in upcoming elections in polling
stations or other positions is also prohibited. Gahutu
stated that Burundi plans to continue positive policy choices
to ensure continued progress while citing the need for
continued international assistance. Delegations commended
Burundi on its reintegration and demobilization of child
soldiers and emphasized the need to combat impunity. Ugandan
Deputy Permanent Representative Patrick Samuel Mugabwe Mugoya
welcomed his country's delisting from the annexes of the
SYG's report on children and armed conflict, and emphasized
that it is no longer appropriate to include details on the
LRA's violations within reports on Uganda, as the LRA has now
moved out of the country. Delegations agreed with Uganda's
position and stressed that the WGCAAC should focus on
regional cooperation and data collection.

5. (SBU) At the close of the meeting, Louis-Georges
Arsenault, Director of UNICEF's Office of Emergency Programs,
distributed a paper giving an overview of ten situations of
concern and highlighted developments in Sri Lanka, the
Central African Republic and the Philippines.
RICE

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