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What can be done to prevent children being forced to participate in armed conflicts?

Join journalist Femi Oke in a panel discussion on the Paris Commitments and Principles on Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups

What: The Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations, UNICEF and the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict are co-organizing the fourth Forum on the ‘Paris Commitments’ and the ‘Paris Principles’ to protect children from recruitment and use by armed forces or armed groups.

The objectives of the meeting are to seek further Member State endorsement for the ‘Paris Commitments’ (political declaration) and assess the implementation of the ‘Paris Principles’ (technical guidelines). A panel discussion will prove an opportunity to exchange lessons learned on measures to prevent children from being recruited or used by armed forces or armed groups, for steps to be taken to hold to account those who recruit children and how to provide for affected children.

Where: ECOSOC Chamber, North Lawn Building, UN HQ, NY.

When: Monday, 26 September 2011, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Moderator: Femi Oke, Journalist and Broadcaster
- Mr. Francois Zimeray, Ambassador for Human Rights, Government of France
- Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary -
General for Children and Armed Conflict
- Ms. Rima Salah, Deputy Executive Director a.i., UNICEF
- Mr. Walter A. Füllemann, ICRC Head of Delegation and Permanent Observer to
the United Nations
- Ms Grace Akallo, Network of Young People Affected by War (NYPAW)

Why: Hundreds of thousands of children worldwide are associated with armed forces or armed groups in conflicts. Many are exposed to tremendous and sustained violence – as witnesses, as direct victims themselves and as forced participants. The impact on their mental and physical well-being breaches the most fundamental human rights and represents a grave threat to durable peace and sustainable development, as cycles of violence are perpetuated. Over the past fifteen years, the urgency to address the issue of recruitment and use of children by armed forces and armed groups has been addressed by the international community through, along with other international endeavours, the Paris Commitments and the Paris Principles. These were adopted during the International Conference “Free Children from War” held in February 2007 in Paris. To date, 95 countries have endorsed the Paris Commitments.

For further information:
Please visit www.un.org/children/conflict/english/parisprinciples.html or contact:
Rebecca Fordham, UNICEF HQ NY,
+1 212-326-7162,

Brieuc Pont, Permanent Mission of France, New York,
Tel +1 (646) 839 6445,

Timothy La Rose, Office of the SRSG for Children & Armed Conflict,
Tel + 1 212-963-0984,




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