NGOs letter / 2020 SG Annual Report on Children and Armed conflict

Today is the UN Security Council Open Debate on the annual report of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict and its annexes. As a diverse group of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working on alleviating humanitarian suffering and protecting human rights, we strongly support the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1612 Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM).

That is why Defence for Children International, together with other 23 NGOs, signed a letter asking to reflect the evidence collected in the list of perpetrators presented in the Secretary General Report. In particular, we have asked the Secretary general to reconsider the decisions to de-list the Saudi-led coalition for killing and maiming children in Yemen, and the Tatmadaw for recruiting and using children in Myanmar. We also urge you to take steps to ensure that going forward, the annexes accurately and consistently reflect the evidence collected and verified by the UN’s Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM), in line with existing criteria.

In the letter, we urged the Secretary-General to:
• Reconsider, in light of the discrepancies and evidence presented the decisions to de-list the Saudi-led coalition and Tatmadaw from the 2020 annual report.
• Initiate a rigorous and transparent due diligence procedure, to ensure that the annual report accurately and consistently reflect the evidence collected and verified by the MRM
• Communicate to stakeholders, including Member States, UN entities, and civil society, how this procedure will be implemented to avoid the disparities and inconsistencies seen in this year’s and previous reports.