New York—On April 28th 2014, during the Open Debate on Security Sector Reform, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to adopt resolution 2151. This resolution represents a growing trend to address the issue of child protection from a preventative angle.
“UN/SC/2151 represents another critical step towards meaningful security sector reform by elevating children on the security agenda,” stated Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, based at Dalhousie University.
As Nation States rebuild after conflict, they must take appropriate measures to ensure children are protected and that security sector actors are well equipped to do so. If Nations fail to protect children during this critical time, the situation could precipitate into renewed conflict and give rise to the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
“Meaningful security sector reform is crucial to ensure that children are protected before, during and after conflict. We have the tools. The time to act is now,” states LGen Roméo Dallaire (ret’d), founder of the Dallaire Initiative.
Resolution 2151 is the second significant resolution passed by the UN Security Council this spring—Resolution 2143 was passed on March 7th. Resolution 2143 recognizes the need for new tools and the importance of training the security sector in prevention and protection responses on child specific issues.
The Dallaire Initiative has developed comprehensive training and tools, including the world leading “Child Soldiers: A Handbook for Security Sector Actors”. By equipping security sector actors with proactive, targeted and practical strategies, the Dallaire Initiative helps to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers. Through the development of a new e-learning course with UNITAR, this training will be widely available to amplify efforts to protect children in conflict.
Resolution 2151 represents the latest advocacy victory for the Dallaire Initiative and its key advocacy partners to the UN—Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict and the United Nations Institute of Training and Research. The Dallaire Initiative remains active and engaged in high-level advocacy at the UN to ensure that the issue of children is at the forefront of the international security agenda.