Statement by Ambassador Günter Sautter at the virtual event ”25th Anniversary of the Children and Armed Conflict Mandate“, 18 January 2022

19.01.2022 - Speech

Let me begin by thanking Norway and Special Representative Gamba for convening this important event! We are grateful to the SRSG and all her predecessors, and to all those involved in the monitoring and reporting mechanisms, for their continuous commitment!

While we rightfully rejoice the achievements made in the last 25 years, we must also look at persistent challenges. Let me briefly touch upon three of them:

First, the existing frameworks for the protection of children in armed conflict, including relevant international law, must be upheld by all of us. We encourage all those who have not yet done so to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration, as well as the Paris Principles and the Vancouver Principles, and to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

Second, accountability is essential! Holding perpetrators accountable increases the costs of non-compliance with international law, deters future violations, and therefore better protects children. The listing and delisting of perpetrators in the SG’s annual CAAC reports remains one of the most powerful tools in this regard. It is therefore imperative that the findings of the report consistently reflect the listing contained in its Annexes.

Third, we must put an end to circles of violence from which children are the first to suffer. This means that conflict-affected children - including those allegedly associated with designated terrorist groups - should be treated primarily as victims, and receive the support they need.

As we celebrate the achievements of a crucial mandate today, Germany reaffirms its commitment to advancing the CAAC Agenda. Let’s continue this important work together, so we can celebrate new achievements on these remaining challenges in another 25 years!

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