Close to 100 countries, including South Africa, will attend a two-day United Nations ministerial meeting beginning Tuesday in Vancouver, Canada.

Among the main focal points will be to improve the gender balance of peacekeeping operations and ending the recruitment of child soldiers.

The host government has also appealed to UN member states to sign up to the Vancouver Principles.

It is a set of 17 focal points to provide concrete steps on how to prioritize and further operationalize child protection within UN peacekeeping operations.