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Protected Together: Vaccines Work!
by UN News, WHO, Unicef, agencies
 
Vaccines save up to three million lives a year, by protecting children from potentially deadly, highly infectious diseases.
 
Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including cervical cancer, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhoea, rubella and tetanus.
 
Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective health tools ever invented. And yet, in 2017 an estimated 1.5 million children died of vaccine-preventable diseases.
 
Since 2010, 113 countries have introduced new vaccines, and more than 20 million additional children have been vaccinated, and yet, global vaccination coverage remains at 85%, with no significant changes during the past few years.
 
All of the targets for disease elimination—including measles, rubella, and maternal and neonatal tetanus—are behind schedule, and over the last two years the world has seen multiple outbreaks of measles, diphtheria and various other vaccine-preventable diseases.
 
Most of the children missing out are those living in the poorest, marginalized and conflict-affected communities.
 
In order for everyone, everywhere to survive and thrive, countries must intensify efforts to ensure all people receive the lifesaving benefits of vaccines. Additionally, those countries that have achieved or made progress towards the goals must work to sustain the progress they have made.
 
Expanding access to immunization is vital for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, poverty reduction and universal health coverage. Routine immunization provides a point of contact for health care at the beginning of life and offers every child the chance at a healthy life from the earliest beginnings and into old age.
 
Immunization is also a fundamental strategy in achieving other health priorities, from controlling viral hepatitis, to curbing antimicrobial resistance, and providing a platform for adolescent health and improving antenatal and newborn care.
 
We need to reach the 1 in 10 kids who still do not have access to vaccines. At all ages, vaccines save lives. They protect our children and they protect us all as adults. Vaccines mean lives lived – they mean a brighter future for our children and theirs to come.
 
While often due to lack of access, there is a trend in some countries in which families, skeptical of vaccines, are delaying or refusing to vaccinate their children. This has resulted in several outbreaks, including an alarming measles surge in high-income countries that is being driven on digital and social media platforms.
 
To inspire confidence in the power and safety of vaccines, UNICEF, the World Health Organization and partners are using the hashtag #VaccinesWork for a global campaign, centred around World Immunization Week.
 
Angelique Kidjo, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador: “Today nine in ten children receive immunizations, but we cannot leave anyone behind. We must reach every child with life-saving vaccines.”
 
Amitabh Bachchan, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and longtime vaccination advocate: "Millions of frontline health workers travel vast distances: on foot, over water, through snow, even on carts to deliver life-saving vaccines. Even though they occasionally encounter fear and suspicion, they know they are saving lives. We can also do our part to combat myths and let everyone know Vaccines Work.”
 
June 2019
 
Vaccines save millions of lives, and yet misinformation, limited availability and inadequate access to services have left large numbers of children in jeopardy, prompting the United Nations Children’s Fund to convene a high-level UN event to “tackle the issue”.
 
“Misinformation about vaccines is as dangerous as a disease”, said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “It spreads fast and poses an imminent threat to public health”.
 
Over the last three decades, the world has seen significant improvements in the health and well-being of children, with vaccinations having contributed to a dramatic decrease in under-five deaths, according to UNICEF.
 
And now, on the brink of eradicating deadly diseases that affect millions of children, serious challenges are emerging.
 
Despite clear evidence of the power of vaccines to save lives and control disease, millions of young children around the world are still missing out, putting them and their communities at risk of deadly outbreaks.
 
Access to quality primary health care, including immunization, is greatly undermined by weak health systems, poverty and conflict, the UN agency explained.
 
Moreover, emerging challenges combine complacency and scepticism on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, which is fueled by deliberate misinformation proliferating online further threatening gains made so far.
 
UNICEF says that “anti-vaccine groups have effectively exploited social media, creating confusion and stoking fears among parents, potentially undermining progress in reaching all children with vaccines”.
 
“Vaccinations save up to three million lives every year – that''s more than five lives saved every minute”, said the UNICEF chief. However, she noted that more needs to be done because “20 million children are still missing out”.
 
Despite considerable progress in increasing global vaccine coverage, some countries struggle to provide quality immunization services and affordable inoculations.
 
UNICEF stresses that countries’ investment in domestic resources and political commitment to immunization is “an entry point to strengthen primary health care”, which is also central to ensuring universal health coverage.
 
The UN agency also advocates for a dialogue platform on ways to reverse declining vaccination rates, build broad-based public trust and demand for immunization – reiterating the target of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.8 for greater access to “safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all”.
 
http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-immunization-week/world-immunization-week-2019 http://www.vaccineswork.org/topic/learn/ http://www.unicef.org/immunization/immunization-week


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Aid Operations under increasing threat as State, Non-State Combatants ignore International Law
by UN News, OCHA, ReliefWeb, agencies
 
May 2019
 
Civilians continue to suffer devastating consequences in armed conflict situations
 
Urgent call for action to protect civilians in conflict: - Concern Worldwide, InterAction, Amnesty International, War Child International, Norwegian Refugee Council, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, CARE, Handicap International - Humanity & Inclusion, Human Rights Watch, Action Against Hunger USA, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de I''Homme, Save the Children, World Vision, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Center for Civilians in Conflict, Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, PAX:
 
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council taking up the protection of civilians in armed conflict on its agenda, as well as two important resolutions passed in 1999: Resolution 1265 on the protection of civilians in armed conflict and Resolution 1270, which included the first explicit protection of civilians mandate for a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operation. This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
 
We collectively urge Security Council members, the UN Secretary-General, and all UN Member States to take full advantage of the opportunity of these important anniversaries to meaningfully improve civilian protection in country-specific situations and advance an ambitious vision for the protection of civilians agenda.
 
There have been important strides in advancing the protection of civilians over the past twenty years, including through Security Council resolutions, the development of policy by the UN, and actions taken at the national level by governments and determined civil society actors to prioritize protection.
 
These developments have been buoyed by the robust framework of international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL), which were developed to limit the impact of war on civilians and safeguard the security and dignity of human beings.
 
Yet, as we mark these important developments, civilians continue to suffer disproportionately from the devastating consequences of armed conflict.
 
In Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Libya, Myanmar, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and far too many other conflict situations, civilians are paying the highest price for the failure of parties to armed conflict – and those Member States that support them – to abide by the norms and laws that safeguard humanity.
 
Civilians are routinely targeted, as are the places in which they live, work, study, worship, or seek or provide medical care or humanitarian aid.
 
Explosive weapons with wide-area effects are employed in populated areas, with devastating and generational consequences.
 
Conflict-related sexual violence and gender-based violence are occurring at shocking levels, with women and girls facing heightened risk of sexual and gender-based violence during conflict.
 
We are also witnessing a worrying retreat from multilateralism and the rules-based international order, which creates a permissive environment for violations and abuses against civilians in conflict zones.
 
The international community must collectively turn this worrying tide. We urge Security Council Members, the UN Secretary-General, and all UN Member States to take determined action to strengthen the protection of civilians and stand up for the norms and laws that are essential to safeguard civilians in conflict.
 
The upcoming UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians on May 23 is a crucial opportunity for Security Council members, the UN Secretary-General, and all UN Member States to make concrete commitments and pledges to strengthen the protection of civilians in armed conflict during the anniversary year and over the years to come. The following issues and recommendations should be the focus of collective action:
 
To Members of the Security Council: Use your voice and vote to prioritize the protection of civilians in the decisions and deliberations of the Council.
 
* Publicly recognize and affirm the protection of civilians in armed conflict as one of the core issues on the agenda of the Security Council.
 
Recommit to fully implementing the provisions of Council resolutions on the protection of civilians, including resolutions 1894, 2175, 2286, and 2417, as well as thematic resolutions on children and armed conflict, women, peace and security, and sexual violence in armed conflict.
 
Systematically call on all parties to armed conflict to take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians.
 
Respect and ensure respect for IHL by ceasing support for parties to armed conflict where there are serious allegations or risks of violations of IHL and violations or abuses of IHRL.
 
* Unequivocally condemn violations of IHL and violations or abuses of IHRL by all parties to armed conflict. This should include consistently condemning direct and indiscriminate attacks on civilians, deliberate targeting of schools, hospitals and other civilian infrastructure, and arbitrary denial of humanitarian access.
 
Ensure that there are consequences for state and non-state actors who deliberately violate or disregard their obligations, including through accountability mechanisms.
 
Consistently support the creation of international, independent investigative mechanisms in situations of armed conflict where there are significant civilian casualties. Commit to make the reports of such mechanisms public to bring greater transparency to the Security Council’s work in pursuit of accountability for grave violations and to deter future violations.
 
Encourage parties to armed conflict to decisively and transparently investigate allegations of civilian harm committed by their forces.
 
* Strengthen the ability of UN peacekeeping operations to protect civilians by providing political support to these missions and ensuring they have adequate resources and capabilities to match their mandates, including Protection of Civilians Advisors, civilian and uniformed Gender Advisors, Women’s Protection Advisors, Child Protection Advisors, and the appropriate number of qualified human rights monitors.
 
Proactively assess the performance of UN peacekeeping operations in delivering on protection of civilians mandates, including specific tasks for the protection of children, women, and people with disabilities, and ensure the full and effective implementation of the provisions of Security Council Resolution 2436 (2018).
 
Ensure that the protection of civilians is prioritized in the context of downsizing, readjustment, or transition of peacekeeping operations.
 
* Support timely and decisive action aimed at preventing or ending the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.
 
Publicly pledge not to vote against a credible draft resolution before the Security Council on timely and decisive action aimed at halting or preventing such crimes, in line with the Accountability Coherence and Transparency Group’s Code of Conduct (A/70/621, 2015).
 
* Regularly convene specific briefings or informal meetings on the protection of civilians in the context of country-specific situations on the Council’s agenda. Regularly invite UN officials with specific protection mandates and experts from local, national and international civil society to brief the Council on these issues, including speakers who can provide a gender- and age-specific analysis.
 
To the UN Secretary-General: Deliver on commitments to lead a “global effort” in support of the protection of civilians. Speak truth to power for civilians caught in conflict.
 
* Follow through on the commitment in your 2017 report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict to launch a “global effort” in support of the agenda. Deliver an ambitious vision to strengthen the protection of civilians in armed conflict today and over the next twenty years. Mobilize senior UN leaders and the agencies, offices, and departments of the UN behind this effort.
 
* Demand an end to attacks against civilians and strongly and publicly condemn violations of IHL and violations and abuses of IHRL by all parties to armed conflict. Press parties to armed conflict to transparently investigate and thoroughly report on allegations of civilian harm.
 
Spare no effort in promoting accountability for violations of IHL and violations and abuses of IHRL through national, regional, ad hoc, and international judicial mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court.
 
* Speak out forcefully against conflict-related sexual violence, gender-based violence, disability-based violence, and all grave violations of children’s rights in armed conflict.
 
Fully exercise your authority in listing in your reports all parties to armed conflicts found responsible for perpetrating conflict-related sexual violence and any of the six grave violations against children in armed conflict.
 
Use your influence, good offices, and the development of Action Plans to ensure these parties take meaningful steps to address the reasons for their listing.
 
* Ensure UN peacekeeping operations fully implement their mandates to protect civilians and take a comprehensive and whole-of-mission approach to protection. Vigorously address any incidents of underperformance or failure to protect civilians, including through accountability measures.
 
Take steps to ensure that peacekeeping operations minimize harm to civilians, including through support to national security forces or parallel military operations, and ensure the full implementation of the UN Human Rights Due Diligence Policy on UN Support to Non-UN Security Forces.
 
Ensure that UN peacekeeping operations safely and meaningfully engage local communities on their protection needs, taking care to ensure that all groups, including women, youth, children, and people living with disabilities, are proactively engaged so that their perspectives and capacities shape mission efforts to respond to protection threats.
 
* Establish a system-wide approach to record civilian harm and ensure that UN peacekeeping operations, special political missions, and other relevant UN agencies or offices in the field have the capacity and guidance to proactively monitor, analyze trends, and publicly report on civilian harm.
 
Regularly share gender, disability and age- disaggregated information and analysis on protection of civilians trends with the Security Council to better inform its deliberations and decision-making.
 
To All UN Member States: Prioritize the protection of civilians at the national level, share and systematize good practices, and ensure full compliance with IHL and IHRL.
 
* Re-state your full commitment to upholding obligations under the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, as well as all relevant IHRL conventions. Accede to and implement any outstanding relevant treaties and conventions, including Additional Protocol I and II to the Geneva Conventions and the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC).
 
Publicly commit to prioritize the protection of civilians at the national level, including through the adoption and implementation of a national policy framework on the protection of civilians, and the establishment of specific policies and mechanisms to mitigate harm to civilians and respond to civilian harm.
 
Further commit to the systematic collection of information and disaggregated data regarding civilian harm, and accept and encourage information from civil society regarding threats to civilians and civilian harm incidents. Fully promote and ensure accountability and transparency for violations of IHL and IHRL.
 
* Adopt and implement key policies and political declarations related to the protection of civilians agenda, including: developing, implementing and financing National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security, and endorsing and implementing the Paris Principles and the Safe Schools Declaration.
 
* Support efforts towards the adoption of a multilateral political declaration on explosive weapons in populated areas during the 20th anniversary year.
 
Such a declaration should commit states to avoid the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas given their devastating humanitarian impact on individuals and communities, including deaths, injuries and damage to vital civilian infrastructure, and the high likelihood of indiscriminate effects.
 
Commit to develop strong national standards and restrictions on the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas.
 
Review and strengthen policies and practices with a view to avoiding the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
 
Gather and make available relevant data, including through civilian harm tracking and civilian casualty recording processes. Contribute to assisting victims and their communities in addressing civilian harm from the effects of explosive weapons.
 
* Publicly recognize that the protection of civilians must be a priority objective in any security partnership and share best practices that would enable improvements in the protection of civilians by partner security forces. Clearly identify conditions regarding the protection of civilians that would trigger downgrading or termination of security partnerships.
 
Strictly comply with the Arms Trade Treaty, which can help protect civilians in even the most difficult situations by placing IHL and IHRL at the center of decisions on whether or not to transfer arms.
 
* Reaffirm the core humanitarian principles, including that of impartiality which makes no distinction in the protection of rights of those at risk on the basis of nationality, race, gender, religious belief, class or political opinions, and states that humanitarian action should be independent and free from political influence.
 
Recommit to facilitating timely and safe access to humanitarian assistance and protection to affected civilians, without any obstacles created by disproportionate military tactics or unreasonable bureaucratic impediments. Include humanitarian exemptions in any counter-terrorism legislation and policies to prevent unintended consequences or restrictions on humanitarian assistance.
 
Explicitly condemn instances of killings and attacks on humanitarian and medical workers and ensure accountability for such attacks.
 
* Publicly recognize the importance of UN peacekeeping operations fully delivering on mandates to protect civilians.
 
Take steps to implement the provisions of the Declaration of Shared Commitments on UN Peacekeeping Operations, particularly those commitments on strengthening the protection of civilians, improving performance and accountability, and sustaining peace, in order to ensure that momentum behind peacekeeping reform is maintained.
 
Endorse and implement the Kigali Principles on the Protection of Civilians and the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers.
 
http://www.globalr2p.org/media/files/joint-ngo-statement-on-the-protection-of-civilians-may-2019-final-version.pdf
 
Apr. 2019
 
The humanitarian space is increasingly under threat as conflicts become more complex and State and non-State combatants ignore international law, target civilians, resort to siege and starvation as a tactic of war while deliberately hindering aid operations, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs told the UN Security Council today.
 
Briefing the 15-nation organ, Mark Lowcock, who is also the Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that 139 million people worldwide are in acute humanitarian need, most of them because of armed conflict. More so, today’s conflicts are also marked by more direct attacks against humanitarian and medical workers, as well as their facilities.
 
“Let us not forget that accountability is required by international law,” he stressed, also adding: “Garnering greater respect for international humanitarian law is one of the most effective ways to safeguard humanitarian space.”
 
Many countries have signed up to the relevant treaties prohibiting or restricting weapons and enshrining international criminal law, he observed, emphasizing the importance of promoting policies and practices that strengthen adherence to international humanitarian law.
 
Broadening the understanding of existing rules, including the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols, along with providing training for armed forces and non-State armed groups on how to respect humanitarian law, is vital. Sanctions imposed by the Council can be a powerful tool to promote compliance, as well.
 
Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), underscored that the Geneva Conventions are not up for negotiation. The license for humanitarian workers to operate should not be up for debate; it has already been guaranteed. He called on the international community to fight any attempt to manipulate or politicize principled humanitarian action.
 
The humanitarian space is about respecting the law. “When the principles of impartiality are breached, and humanitarian action is curtailed, families — like the ones I meet — go hungry, they go sick, they are left vulnerable to abuse,” he said.
 
Mark Lowcock, Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that conflict persists, with civilians continuing to bear the brunt. Wars have forced nearly 70 million people to flee their homes.
 
Combatants have resorted to siege and starvation as weapons of war causing hunger levels to increase after decades of decline. Some 60 per cent of people affected by food crises are living in conflict-affected countries.
 
Today’s conflicts are also marked by more direct attacks against humanitarian and medical workers, as well as their facilities. Meanwhile, protracted conflict and chronic crises have caused humanitarian needs to spiral. This year, 139 million people are in acute humanitarian need, most of them because of armed conflict.
 
Combatants deliberately hinder humanitarian operations, slowing them down, driving up costs and blocking aid from reaching people, he continued. International law is designed to minimize human suffering in war, including by safeguarding humanitarian activities.
 
“Garnering greater respect for international humanitarian law is one of the most effective ways to safeguard humanitarian space,” he stressed, pointing out that many countries have signed up to the relevant treaties prohibiting or restricting weapons and enshrining international criminal law. Promoting policies and practices to strengthen adherence to international humanitarian law is therefore critical.
 
Broadening and deepening understanding and acceptance of existing rules, including the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols, is essential. Providing training for armed forces and member of non-State armed groups on how to respect humanitarian law can help, as well.
 
He also stressed the need to enable humanitarian and medical activities, underscoring that all parties should adopt clear and simplified procedures to facilitate humanitarian access. Those should include establishing civil-military coordination platforms or humanitarian notification systems to further parties’ respect for humanitarian operations.
 
Sanctions imposed by the Council can be a powerful tool to promote compliance. In addition, States must do better in holding to account individuals when they commit serious violations of international humanitarian law. It is crucial to prosecute suspects where there is evidence.
 
“Let us not forget that accountability is required by international law,” he emphasized.
 
Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said that, in many parts of the world the space for impartial humanitarian action is under threat. Human dignity is disregarded and humanitarian organizations are increasingly placed under pressure as both State and non-State armed groups hold civilian populations and humanitarian actors for ransom.
 
“When the principles of impartiality are breached, and humanitarian action is curtailed, families — like the ones I meet — go hungry, they go sick, they are left vulnerable to abuse,” he said. International humanitarian law does not rely on reciprocity. It applies even if an opponent fails to comply.
 
The Geneva Conventions are not up for negotiation, he emphasized, adding that they are a tool, facilitated through a neutral and independent space. With political actors increasingly occupying the humanitarian space, humanitarians must find practical ways to fulfil the mission in an increasingly complex environment.
 
He called on the international community to fight any attempt to manipulate or politicize principled humanitarian action.
 
“We ask that you fight the double standards which delegitimize law and weaken its protective force,” he said. The humanitarian space is about respecting the law. He called on Member States to lead by example and train and instruct their troops so that they know the law and respect it.
 
With regards to the proliferation of arms, he urged that safeguards and precautions be put in place and that no weapon is transferred if there is a clear risk it would be used to violate international humanitarian law.
 
ICRC sees the enormous civilian costs of bombing and shelling, including death and long-term damage. The noose is tightening on humanitarian action. “But, our license to operate should not be up for debate; it has already been guaranteed,” he emphasized.
 
Apr. 2019
 
Wars have rules: 5 things the UN humanitarian chief wants countries to tackle so human suffering in conflict can be minimized
 
With the rights and lives of millions of women, children and men uprooted by conflict every year, the UN Security Council held a special meeting on Monday to examine ways to promote and strengthen the rule of law, especially in the humanitarian field.
 
Addressing the 15-member body, the UN humanitarian and emergency relief chief, Mark Lowcock, proposed five areas of action.
 
“Where conflict persists, it is civilians who bear the brunt”, said Mr. Lowcock. “Wars have forced nearly 70 million people to flee their homes. As combatants have resorted to siege and starvation as weapons of war, and as conflict has prevented farmers from planting and harvesting crops, destroyed vital infrastructure, and disrupted commercial trade, hunger levels have increased again, after decades of decline.”
 
The UN humanitarian chief cited some concerning facts:
 
60 per cent of people affected by food crises are living in countries with conflict. Humanitarian workers are being directly targeted, with 317 attacks in 2018 resulting in 113 aid worker deaths. Medical personnel and facilities faced 388 attacks in 2018, resulting in over 300 deaths and 400 injuries.
 
As rape has increasingly become a weapon of war, one-in-five displaced women say they have experienced sexual violence. More than 21,000 grave violations of children’s rights were verified by the United Nations in 2017.
 
“All of these things are having a big impact on humanitarian operations,” Mr. Lowcock told the Council. “International humanitarian law is designed to minimize human suffering in war, including by safeguarding humanitarian activities”, he added, noting the international community has a “strong legal framework to safeguard humanitarian activity in conflict”.
 
As the world marks 70 years since the Geneva Conventions were adopted – the internationally-agreed rules for conduct during wartime designed to protect non-combatants, including those removed from the battlefield - here are five things the UN humanitarian chief wants Member States to focus on:
 
1. Promoting policies and practices to strengthen adherence to international humanitarian law
 
Mr. Lowcock proposed that the Security Council seek much wider endorsement of political commitments made by some countries, such as the Safe Schools Declaration, and the French Declaration on the Protection of Medical Care in Conflict.
 
He also called on Member States to develop policy frameworks that state which entities are responsible for the protection of civilians; establish civilian casualty mitigation measures; prevent the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas; and make arms exports conditional on respect for international humanitarian law (IHL).
 
2. Deepening understanding and acceptance of existing rules of war
 
“Experience has shown that often, fighting parties have an incomplete understanding of IHL,” deplored Mr. Lowcock, who recommended that training be providing for armed forces and members of non-State armed groups on the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols, among others. “Member States should help humanitarian organizations to spread such knowledge,” he added.
 
3. Measures to enabling humanitarian and medical activities
 
To facilitate humanitarian access, Mr. Lowcock emphasized the need to establish civil-military coordination platforms or humanitarian notification systems so that humanitarian operations can be respected.
 
“You and other Member States could do more to advocate for rapid and unimpeded access to people in need, including by adopting clear, simple, expedited procedures, and by supporting humanitarian organizations to engage with armed groups for humanitarian purposes”, he told the Security Council.
 
In addition, he encouraged States to take practical measures to minimize the impact of sanctions and counter-terrorism measures on humanitarian action. To limit the targeting of medical personnel, he recommended that legal protection be ensured for them when they act in accordance with their profession’s ethics.
 
4. Carrots and sticks to boost compliance
 
The UN humanitarian chief stressed the need for incentives and penalties to boost compliance with IHL.
 
“For example, sanctions imposed by the Security Council can be a powerful tool, and States can exert their diplomatic, political and economic influence over parties to conflict,” he said.
 
5. Accountability
 
Mr. Lowcock told the Security Council that Governments “need to do much better in holding individuals to account when they commit serious violations of IHL.”
 
This includes for example: adopting legislation encompassing the full range of international crimes and jurisdiction over them; strengthening national capacity to carry out impartial, independent investigations into allegations of war crimes and to prosecute suspects; and where needed, provide more support for international or hybrid accountability mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court.
 
“Supporting – financially or otherwise – the systematic collection, analysis and documentation of evidence of violations of IHL is important in this process”, he stressed.
 
“Let us never forget that accountability for serious violations of international humanitarian law is required by law,” he concluded.
 
http://www.safeguardinghealth.org/press-release-2018-year-dangerous-attacks-health-workers-facilities http://www.stopwaronchildren.org/ http://www.stopwaronchildren.org/reports/ http://bit.ly/2JsIFiy http://www.savethechildren.net/article/save-children-calls-perpetrators-violations-against-children-conflict-zones-across-world-be http://www.savethechildren.net/article/three-four-child-casualties-world-s-deadliest-conflicts-caused-explosive-weapons http://watchlist.org/wp-content/uploads/open-letter-to-sg-guterres-on-caac-20190524-final.pdf http://reliefweb.int/report/world/education-suffered-over-14000-armed-attacks-last-5-years http://www.unicef.org/education-under-attack http://www.unicef.org/end-violence http://www.hrw.org/news/2019/05/27/countries-act-protect-schools-wartime http://news.un.org/en/story/2019/04/1035961
 
http://starvationaccountability.org/news-and-events/story-in-focus-interview-with-hilal-elver-un-special-rapporteur-on-the-right-to-food http://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/05/un-catastrophic-failure-as-civilians-ravaged-by-war-violations-70-years-after-geneva-conventions/ http://www.icrc.org/en/document/communities-need-space-protect-themselves-states-must-be-proactive-granting-it http://www.globalprotectioncluster.org/tools-and-guidance/essential-protection-guidance-and-tools/protection-of-civilians-essential-guidance-and-tools/ http://www.globalprotectioncluster.org/themes/protection-of-civilians/ http://www.globalprotectioncluster.org/wp-content/uploads/CoP-Review-2018-screen-1.pdf
 
* UN Secretary-General’s report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict: http://undocs.org/S/2019/373
 
* UN WebTV: Humanitarian Affairs Segment - United Nations Economic and Social Council; June 2019: 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions: Achieving collective commitment to international humanitarian law and putting fundamental protections into practice: http://bit.ly/2LdfhwI


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