Launch of campaign to stop use of children as soldiers by 2016Listen /
All governments and organizations around the world have been urged to work with the United Nations to ensure that no children are used as soldiers by 2016.
The call was made on Thursday by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message for the launch of the United Nations global campaign known as "Children, not soldiers".
Since the awareness of the recruitment and use of children by governments and others was raised in 1996, Ban said, the Security Council has developed a strong framework for monitoring and acting on the worst violations.
The Secretary-General's message was delivered by Leila Zerrougui, his Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.
"All children deserve protection, not exploitation. They belong in school, not armies and fighting groups. Children should be armed with pens and textbooks, not guns. This campaign complements other United Nations efforts, such as my 'Global Education First Initiative', to secure children's rights and provide dignity, opportunity and a better life." (29")
The Secretary-General noted that all eight of the Member States currently listed for recruiting and using child soldiers were present during the launch of the campaign.
He saluted their pledge to sign and fulfil action plans to end and prevent the recruitment of children into their armed forces.
Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.