UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council has stepped up its efforts to protect children affected by armed conflict by adopting a resolution expanding a list of offenders who are subject to possible sanctions. Resolution 1882, which was adopted Tuesday by the 15-member body unanimously, strongly condemned all violations of applicable international law involving the recruitment and use of children by parties to armed conflict. It requested UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to include in his list submitted to the Council those who kill, maim, rape or commit other forms of sexual violence against children in wartime. Past lists mainly included those who were accused of recruiting child soldiers. The resolution called on those parties on the secretary-generals so-called list of shame to prepare concrete and time-bound action plans to halt those violations and abuses. In addition, the resolution calls upon concerned member states to take decisive and immediate action against persistent perpetrators of violations and abuses committed against children in situations of armed conflict, and to bring them to justice. An important aspect of the expanded listing criteria is the Councils empowerment of the UN on the ground to enter into dialogue with armed forces and groups on action plans to halt these violations and to bring perpetrators to account. The Council first established a mechanism for monitoring, reporting on and punishing those responsible for the recruitment of child soldiers in resolution 1612, adopted in 2005. The resolution sends a clear political message to stress that the obligations imposed by international law to all parties to armed conflict related to childrens safety and well-being must be complied with, allowing for no exceptions, said Claude Heller, the Mexican envoy to the UN and chair of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. It represents a fundamental progress in the child protection agenda as it expands the criteria by which parties in conflict can be included in annual reports that secretary-general produces on this topic, Heller said. Therefore, the responsibility of the parties to armed conflict who violate international legislation by engaging in killing and maiming, as well as rape and other forms of sexual violence against children could be a matter under scrutiny by the Security Council, the Mexican envoy said.