Protection of civilians in armed conflict: Preserving humanitarian space - Security Council, 8822nd meeting
Production Date
Video Length
02:06:37
Asset Language
English
Summary

Humanitarian space is increasingly endangered by violence against humanitarian workers, as well as impediments to their activities.

Description

Humanitarian space is increasingly endangered by violence against humanitarian workers, as well as impediments to their activities.

The widespread and increasing violence that humanitarian workers are exposed to in the course of their activities not only causes death and injury but also hinders their capacity to fulfil their mission and deprives those most vulnerable of essential assistance and protection. This trend is all the more worrying that humanitarian needs have reached a record high.

The figures speak for themselves: in 2020, at least 169 security incidents against humanitarian workers were recorded in 19 States affected by conflict, resulting in the
deaths of 99 humanitarian workers (S/2021/423, para. 43).

In addition to insecurity, bureaucratic and administrative impediments, restrictions on entry into and movement within countries and deliberate interference from parties to conflict contribute to hampering humanitarian access. In some countries, transactions and activities carried out during humanitarian operations continue to be prohibited and criminalized.

Impunity for serious violations that negatively affect or impede humanitarian workers and assets has become widespread. The majority of serious violations of international humanitarian law, committed both by States and non-State actors, remain unpunished.

We have a collective responsibility, as well as a legal and a moral duty, to counter those alarming trends.

That is the reason why France and Germany launched in September 2019 a call for action to strengthen respect for international humanitarian law and principled humanitarian action, which has now been endorsed by 48 Member States and the European Union. The call for action identifies concrete commitments that Member States can make to better protect humanitarian space.

The briefing provides an opportunity for Member States to:

– Exchange best practices regarding the preservation of humanitarian space, in particular the protection of humanitarian workers, the facilitation of humanitarian access and accountability for serious violations of international humanitarian law.
– Identify concrete recommendations to better protect humanitarian space.

The following speakers have been invited to brief the Council:

– The Secretary-General
– Robert Mardini, Director General of the International Committee of the Red Cross
– Lucile Grosjean, Delegate Director for Advocacy of Action against Hunger