Sri Lanka no longer has child soldiers, says UN
Colombo: The UN has cleared Sri Lanka of the charge of having child soldiers, and said that the threat has been successfully eradicated since the end of the civil war in 2009, the external affairs ministry said Friday.
The UN Working Group adopted the "Draft conclusions on the situation of children and armed conflict in Sri Lanka" Dec 19, thereby closing the dossier on Sri Lanka in the Security Council, Xinhua quoted a statement of Sri Lanka`s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York as saying.
Prior to adopting the draft, the UN Working Group considered a report by the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Sri Lanka, and its recommendations in accordance with Security Council resolutions.
According to the statement, Sri Lanka`s rehabilitation and reintegration of former child combatants contributed to this positive outcome.
Peter Wittig, permanent representative of Germany to the UN and chair of the Working Group, said this would be the last time Sri Lanka will appear before the Security Council on the issue of children and armed conflict and congratulated Colombo on its success.
The UN in June delisted Sri Lanka from the Secretary-General`s "List of Shame" that lists countries where children are involved in armed conflict, saying the island nation "successfully completed Security Council-mandated programmes to end the recruitment and use of children".
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