Matthew Happold
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The UN and child soldiers
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Since 1998, when the issue of war-affected children was placed on the agenda of the Security Council, the progressive engagement of the Council has yielded significant gains for children. The United Nations (UN) has tended to consider the issue of child soldiers as a part of the broader issue of war-affected children. Resolution 48/157 marked the first time that the General Assembly had considered the issue of children affected by armed conflict in any specific way. Resolution 48/157 set out a plan of action and proved to be the beginning of a continuing commitment by the political organs of the UN to the issue of children's involvement in armed conflict. The General Assembly recommended that the Secretary-General appoint a special representative on the impact of armed conflict on children, and set out the Special Representative's mandate. From the late 1990s, Security Council resolutions began to make reference to conflict-affected children.

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