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PassBlue - Covering the UN

Child Soldiers

May 6, 2020 
This fall, the United Nations will celebrate its 75th anniversary. This is a notable occasion. Most global security bodies have had short shelf lives. But the UN has shown an extraordinary durability — a tribute to how this body was conceived and fashioned during World War II by one of America’s great presidents, Franklin …
March 15, 2020 
The coronavirus has officially hit the United Nations at its New York City headquarters. On Thursday, March 12, the first reported case was confirmed by a diplomat with the Philippines mission to the UN, who said that a Filipino colleague had tested positive for Covid-19 and had notified the “UN medical director’s office.” The …
August 6, 2019 
Joanna Wronecka, Poland's ambassador to the UN
Even though many people think of August as vacation time, Joanna Wronecka, Poland’s ambassador to the United Nations, is not taking off anytime soon, as she is presiding over the Security Council for the month. As the Security Council is going to tackle issues affecting the Middle East and other parts of the world, …
July 30, 2019 
Every time the budget committee of the United Nations meets, as it did in June, child-protection advocates enter a familiar existential crisis: will the United States and China cut UN budgets specifically allocated to specialists on child protection in peacekeeping missions? I am often asked by people in the UN why a child-rights advocate …
November 13, 2017 
The one sure announcement to emerge from the annual United Nations peacekeeping defense ministerial conference this week will be the adoption of the Vancouver Principles, a set of rules aimed primarily at preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers. The conference, being held Nov. 14-15 in Vancouver, British Columbia, will feature more than …
April 30, 2017 
Two women have been named to highly visible posts at the United Nations: Pramila Patten of Mauritius is the new special envoy on sexual violence in conflict and begins in mid-June; and Virginia Gamba, an Argentine, is special envoy on children in armed conflict, beginning May 1. The latter is arguably the more controversial job because …
December 8, 2016 
THE HAGUE — At the glassy, eco-minded new building of the International Criminal Court here in the Netherlands’ capital, people who are being tried may still be called “detainees,” but make no mistake: they remain accused of such atrocities as murder, torture and child-soldier recruitment as well as gang-raping women and girls. It’s business …
May 1, 2016 
Grim images from the small world of children are multiplying. Little bodies adrift in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. Uncomprehending faces pressed against wire fences and barricades in Europe from the Balkans to the French port of Calais. At least 17 Syrian children and their pediatrician slaughtered by a bomb apparently targeting a hospital …
August 31, 2015 
MEDELLIN, Colombia — “There is conflict in every single country in the world,” a 16-year-old former combatant from the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, or FARC, rebel group said at a rehabilitation center for demobilized child soldiers here in Colombia’s third-largest city. Yet when it was pointed out that there was no conflict in …
February 1, 2015 
As Colombia’s long civil war appears to be headed toward a hard-sought peaceful settlement, the government may be ready to send soldiers from its huge, well-financed military to participate in peacekeeping missions of the United Nations. Colombian forces’ work in fighting terrorism was presented as a selling point by its defense ministry, but the military’s …
June 19, 2014 
As Sunni Muslim extremists first seized strategic cities in Iraq last week, and a United Nations spokesman for the human-rights high commissioner, Navi Pillay, said that rapes had been part of the mayhem, leaving four female victims dead from suicide, the first global conference to end such heinous crimes took place in London. There, …
April 10, 2014 
The United Nations Security Council has authorized yet another peacekeeping force for an African country, the Central African Republic, approving up to 12,000 military and police personnel who are not likely to arrive until mid-September. The goal of the force is broad, given the nation’s crippled affairs: restore law and order, protect civilians, provide …
February 13, 2014 
Bosco Ntaganda
The first step to possibly try Bosco Ntaganda, a Congolese warlord born in Rwanda, for war crimes and crimes against humanity, began recently at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Ntaganda, who turned himself in to the court last year by going to the United States Embassy in Rwanda, allegedly committed the crimes …
January 9, 2013 
Women at the Stop Rape in Conflict Now campaign in Cartagena, Colombia
One of Fatou Bensouda‘s missions as the new chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court is to make rape during conflicts a thing of the past. Until 20 years ago, she said in a speech at the United Nations recently, sexual violence and other sexual attacks were “all but ignored and dismissed as regrettable …

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