On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children on armed conflict, as well as in light of the International Children’s Day on 20 November 2020, and taking advantage of Belgium’s chairmanship of the working group on children and armed conflicts within the United Nations Security Council, the Embassy of Belgium in Warsaw and the College of Europe in Natolin organised an online international conference on:
"The Protection of Children in Armed Conflict: Two Decades of Institutional and Humanitarian Action"
Live-streaming and photo gallery
The goal of the conference was to take stock of the actions undertaken both at the institutional and humanitarian level over the last two decades with the aim to guarantee the protection of children in armed conflicts.
Partnership and speakers
The conference, co-organized by the Embassy of Belgium in Warsaw and the College of Europe in Natolin, and in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland and the Embassies of Canada, France, Germany, Mexico and Norway, gathered experts from governments and international fora, as well as from international and non-governmental organizations working in the field.
The biographies of the panelists are available here and the full programme of the conference below.
The conference took place online on Tuesday, 24 November 2020 from 13:00 to 17:00.
13:00-13:10 INTRODUCTORY WORDS
- Ewa OŚNIECKA-TAMECKA, Vice-Rector, College of Europe in Natolin
- Luc JACOBS, Ambassador of Belgium to Poland and Lithuania
13:10-13:15 SETTING THE SCENE
- Elżbieta MIKOS-SKUZA, Associate Professor of Public International Law at the University of Warsaw, Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Natolin
13:15-14:15 PANEL 1: THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN IN ARMED CONFLICT: THE INSTITUTIONAL DIMENSION
Moderator: Elżbieta MIKOS-SKUZA, Associate Professor of Public International Law at the University of Warsaw, Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Natolin
- Children and armed conflict : the role of the Security Council – Marc Pecsteen DE BUYTSWERVE, Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations Office at Geneva, former Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations Office at New York
- Poland’s position on the implementation of the CAAC agenda: the perspective of an elected member to the UN Security Council (2018-2019) – Pawel RADOMSKI, Director of the United Nations and Human Rights Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Poland
- Mexico's experience in the UN Security Council Working Group on Children in Armed Conflict – Roberto DE LEÓN HUERTA, Deputy Director General for Peace and Security and Political Affairs at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- The role of the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict – Anne SCHINTGEN, Director of the United Nations Liaison Office for Children and Armed Conflict in Europe
- The role of the Group of Friends and other policy initiatives in advancing the Children and Armed Conflict agenda over the past 20 years – Evan CINQ-MARS, Senior Policy Advisor, Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations
14:15-14:45 Q&A session
15:30-16:30 PANEL 2: THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN IN ARMED CONFLICT: THE HUMANITARIAN DIMENSION
Moderator: Anne-Sophie MASSA, First Secretary and Consul at the Embassy of Belgium in Warsaw
- Children at risk of conflict – what does the numbers tell us – Siri Aas RUSTAD, Research Professor at Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
- Child protection Specialist (Children and Armed Conflict), UNICEF regional office for the Middle East and North Africa – Laurent DUTORDOIR, Child Protection Specialist (Children and Armed Conflict), UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa
- The ICRC and the challenges in 2020 for children affected by conflict – Alexandra JACKSON, Global Adviser on Child Protection, International Committee for the Red Cross
- Les enfants, quatre fois victimes des guerres – Claire BRISSET, Vice-President of the French Association for the United Nations, former Ombudsperson for Children, France (an English translation of the presentation will be provided)
- The role of humanitarian interventions in breaking the cycle of violence – Dara Mc LEOD, Executive Director, War Child Canada
16:30-17:00 Q&A session and closing remarks
Photo courtesy: 2016 documentary ‘The Land of the Enlightened’ directed by Pieter-Jan DE PUE