AOB: On the Oslo Conference on Protecting Children in Armed Conflict – Our Common Future

Delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 30 March 2023.

I am pleased to inform you that Norway will host an international conference on the protection of children in armed conflict in Oslo 5th and 6th June. All states have been invited, with invitation letters circulated to your Missions to the UN in Geneva and New York.

There are currently around 100 armed conflicts in the world. The suffering of children affected by these conflicts is one of the most pressing political and humanitarian concerns today. It is unfortunately also a matter that is often neglected. The Oslo conference on protecting children in armed conflict aims to mobilize action and commitments by states, donors, and the humanitarian community to address these challenges.

The conference will address several issues such as: prevention of violations against children, recruitment and reintegration, sexual violence, war in cities and its impact on children, engaging with armed actors for child protection, and funding for quality child protection in humanitarian response. The goal is to mobilize commitment, action, and funding to improve the protection of children in armed conflict.

Norway co-organizes the conference with Save the Children International, UNICEF and the ICRC, in partnership with the Office of the SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the African Union. A cross-regional group of states has also been invited to co-host. The conference is open to representatives of states (including armed forces), international organizations, civil society, and the humanitarian sector.

This spring, the OSCE Group of Friends on Children and Armed Conflict will invite to a seminar in preparation for the Oslo conference. Further information will be distributed to delegations in due time.

Thank you.