UN Security Council: Unanimous adoption of Resolution 2143 recommends preventative training for militaries, police and peacekeepers in child protection
New York—With a former child soldier, diplomats, ambassadors and practitioners looking on, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to pass resolution 2143. This historic Security Council resolution is the first to recommend preventative training for UN peacekeeping personnel regarding children and armed conflict.
“This resolution is pivotal for developing the need regarding preventative training for all UN peacekeepers and mission personnel. Without such training, personnel, particularly security personnel will remain ill-equipped to protect children in areas of conflict” stated Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative).
UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon noted that “it is equally important that protection of children should be part and parcel of the actions of peacekeeping operations and special political missions, which presupposes that members of these contingents be trained before their deployment”
The Dallaire Initiative remains at the forefront of developing and delivering preventative training for the security sector to end the use and recruitment of child soldiers. Security sector personnel—police, military and guards—are often the first point of contact for child soldiers in mission settings.
Before the vote Alhaji Babah Sawaneh, former child soldier and Dallaire Initiative staff member in Sierra Leone, addressed the UN Security Council. He stressed the importance of Sierra Leone as a model for prevention, having emerged from from civil war that saw 10,000 child soldiers used and today is taking steps to embed a nationwide prevention-focused program in partnership with the Dallaire Initiative. The Sierra Leone program is providing training related to the issue of child soldiers across the country’s entire security apparatus (military, police prison guards), as well as delivering a primary school program to educate children on the dangers of recruitment.
Dr. Shelly Whitman, along with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research(UNITAR), are honoured to have played an instrumental role in providing language in the early drafting of resolution 2143’s preambulatory and operative clauses related to training and preparedness of security sector actors.
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About the organization
Founded by retired lieutenant-general and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a global partnership committed to ending the use and recruitment of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.