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As Germany Ushers Child Soldiers Expert to UN Council, Those Impacted to Speak?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, December 2, updated -- A dispute arose late on December 1 about the adviser on Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy coming to brief the Security Council.

  Germany proposed that she come, sources say, but in opposition it was argued among other things that all UN member states be allowed to speak, including those who are opposed to being on her child soldier recruitment list, or being included in the text of her report such as Thailand.

  Coomaraswamy is mandated to discuss with the Council the so-called "modalities of inclusion," as provided for in Resolution 1998:

20. Invites the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict to brief the Security Council on the modalities of the inclusion of parties into the annexes of the periodic report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict, enabling an exchange of views;

 Germany, the sources say, wanted her to comply with this by coming and saying what she is doing.

  Others want more time to prepare -- "to grill her," as one member put it to Inner City Press -- and want countries which are not on the Security Council, but are on Coomaraswamy's list, to be able to speak.

(c) UN Photo
Coomaraswamy in Afghanistan, Thailand & others not shown

   Some of the countries which raised questions in closed door consultations about Coomaraswamy's briefing then publicly downplayed the rifts, saying it was only a matter of "scheduling."

  But it goes beyond that, into who should have the upper hand in the briefing, Coomaraswamy or the countries who are not comfortable being on her list.

  This mirrors a recent fight in the Third Committee of the General Assembly on a Thai sponsored resolution on the Protection of Children. Click here for Inner City Press' story on that. Coomaraswamy told Inner City Press Thailand's first draft was "alarming," but ultimately it did not impact her mandate. But the questioning continues. Watch this site.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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