- UN Special Rep. for children in Armed Conflict
[February 7, 2006 - 4.45 GMT]
Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, who currently heads the Human Rights
Commission of Sri Lanka, has been selected by the United Nations as the
new UN Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict.
She was the former UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, and
succeeds Mr. Olara Otunnu in her new position dealing with children in
Ms. Coomaraswamy's office has the rank of UN Under Secretary-General,
the third highest ranking position in the UN administration.
She takes up the new office following strong reports by her predecessor
Mr. Otunnu against recruitment of children for war in several countries,
and particularly by the terrorist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
(LTTE) of Sri Lanka.
Mr. Otunnu made a very strong condemnation of the LTTE's policy of
recruiting children for war in Sri Lanka in his last report to the UN
Secretary General. He said the LTTE had reneged several time of pledges
given to him that they would stop the recruitment of children for its
terrorist campaign against the Sri Lankan government.
He asked that special sanctions be taken against the LTTE in this
regard. The use of children for war has also been strongly condemned by
the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who has recommended to the Security
Council that special sanctions be taken against governments and
organizations that recruit children for war.
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Date: February 7, 2006 - 4.45 GMT