International Symposium on "Children and Armed Conflict"

November 16, 1998

  1. An International Symposium on Children and Armed Conflict will be held on November 19 (Thu.) and 20 (Fri.) in Tokyo (at the headquarters of the United Nations University). This symposium will be held under the joint auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, the United Nations University, and the Japan Committee for UNICEF.

  2. The symposium will be attended by Mr. Olara Otunnu, the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflicts (former foreign minister of Uganda), and by representatives from many countries, mainly from the Asia/Pacific region, international organizations, and NGOs.
    Mr. Hisashi Owada, former Japanese ambassador to the United Nations, will chair the symposium. The symposium will be open to the public on November 20.

  3. Choosing issues of children, who are vulnerable to armed conflicts, as its theme, the symposium will discuss such issues as child soldiers, abduction and abuse of children in armed conflicts, and the rehabilitation of children who have become refugees or been injured by antipersonnel mines and so on. It will also seek measures for cooperation and coordination among the governments, international organizations, and NGOs.

  4. Special Representative Otunnu will visit Japan from November 15 to 22. During his stay in Japan, Mr. Otunnu will not only have talks with Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura but also widely exchange views with concerned parties and make a keynote speech at the symposium.

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