Beah had just returned from Paris, where he took part in a two-day conference at which states pledged to redouble efforts on behalf of "small soldiers," as they are called in Ahmadou Kourouma's 2000 novel, Allah n’est pas obligé (translated passages in Diane Marie Amann, Calling Children to Account: The Proposal for a Juvenile Chamber in the Special Court for Sierra Leone, 29 Pepperdine L.Rev. 167 (2002)). Fifty-eight states signed the Paris Commitments to Protect Children from Unlawful Recruitment. The Associated Press reported:
The U.S. government did not participate .... The State Department said the administration objected to some of the wording of the documents but added that the United States remained committed to its treaty obligations to prevent the use of children in combat.