Resolution 1261(1999): the Annual Report by the Secretary-General

With resolution 1261(1999) the Security Council asked the Secretary-General to provide a report on Children and Armed Conflict to the Council - this was the start of the Council's engagement with Children and Armed Conflict. The first report was based on the initial study of Graca Machel, which gave a basic impression of the subject and aimed to estimate developments in the field.

The following regular reports became fundamental for Security Council action on the issue of Children and Armed Conflict. Today, the report is a monitoring and reporting document that  focuses on individuals or organizations within country specific situations. The report mainly concentrates on the six grave violations the first Special Representative Olara Otunnu identified after reviewing international humanitarian law - and which form the basis of  Security Council considerations:

  • Killing or maiming of children;
  • Recruiting or using child soldiers;
  • Attacks against schools or hospitals;
  • Rape and other grave sexual violence against children;
  • Abduction of children;
  • Denial of humanitarian access for children.

In his annual reports the Secretary-General concentrates on violations and compliance by parties within country specific situations, which can be distinguished into two categories: Countries that are on the agenda of the Security Council and countries that are not. Besides providing the necessary data-basis, the report focuses on identifying perpetrators of violations where possible. This specific focus on incidents and perpetrators gives this report a one-of-a-kind character in the UN system.