People's Stories Democracy

Climate action: 4 shifts the UN chief encourages Governments to make
by UN News, Climate Action Network, CNN, agencies
May 2019 (UN News)
Speaking to the people of the Pacific in New Zealand, UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted four key measures that Governments should prioritize in order to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and realize the common central objective: not to have more than 1.5C degrees of increasing temperature by the end of the century.
The international scientific community, has been very clear that to reach this goal we absolutely need to have carbon neutrality by 2050. For this, he called on nations worldwide to make four pivotal shifts:
Tax pollution, not people
The UN chief called for an emphasis to be placed on taxes on carbon emissions, known as “carbon pricing,” instead of being placed on salaries.
Stop subsidizing fossil fuels
He stressed that taxpayer money should not be used to increase the frequency of hurricanes, the spread of drought and heatwaves, the melting of glaciers and the bleaching of corals.
Stop building new coal plants by 2020
Coal-based power is key according to UN-environment’s 2018 Emissions Gap Report: all plants currently in operation are committing the world to around 190 giga tonnes of CO2, and if all coal power plants currently under construction go into operation and run until the end of their technical lifetime, emissions will increase by another 150 giga tonnes, jeopardizing our ability to limit global warming by 2°C as agreed upon in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Focus on a green economy not a grey economy
“It is very important that the business community and Governments understand that the green economy is the economy of the future and the grey economy has no future,” said Mr. Guterres. “It’s very important to convince governments that they must act because there’s still a lot of resistance”.
“Governments are still afraid to move forward,” he explained “yet the costs of inaction are much bigger than any costs of climate action''. ''''Nature does not negotiate”, he added.
On 23 September, the UN chief is convening a Climate Change Summit to galvanize increased ambition for decisive climate action.
24 May 2019
We don''t have 12 years to jump-start action on climate change -- we have just one, writes Helen Mountford.
On Friday, countless young people will flood the streets of the world''s major cities, demanding action to tackle climate change. The global movement stems from the stark reality that the window to addressing this emergency is closing. At the front of these demonstrations, there is frequently a banner warning that there are just "12 years to save the Earth."
If political leaders finally respond to the climate crisis, we may well have these youthful advocates to thank. But there is a problem with this timeline: We don''t have 12 years to jump-start action on climate change -- we have just one.
According to a seminal report featured in the journal Nature, global greenhouse gas emissions must peak no later than next year and rapidly decline thereafter for us to have a good chance of preventing increasingly severe consequences from the climate crisis -- everything from imperiled croplands, flooded communities and widespread disease. Delaying any longer will push us toward an ecological tipping point, with no way for humanity to claw its way back out.
Next year is also a critical point because it is when country leaders agreed to put forward new climate plans when they adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015. They knew that the climate action commitments in Paris would not be enough, and so they agreed to come back in five years to step up their efforts. We will soon find out if prime ministers and presidents will stand by their word. Collectively, these revised plans will point humanity to a future that is either bright or bleak. Right now, the picture looks bleak.
Deforestation is increasing, with 12 million hectares of tropical forest chopped down last year. Coal plants are still being built in at least 30 nations. Every year, countries prop up the coal, oil and gas industries with more than $5.2 trillion in subsidies, tax breaks and unaccounted costs of fossil fuel use in 2017. Ford sold nearly 1.1 million F-150 trucks last year (one every 29.3 seconds) even though the pickup gets a paltry 19 miles per gallon.
Earlier this month atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations hit 415 parts per million for the first time in human history; the last time levels were that high was during the Pliocene Epoch when there were trees at the South Pole and sea levels were 20 meters higher than they are now.
I could go on. Clearly, the world is not yet making the urgent and unprecedented changes needed to halt global warming.
In a landmark UN climate report released last year, scientists found that a global temperature rise of just 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) over preindustrial levels would greatly increase the risk of drought, floods and extreme heat, and food supplies would be in jeopardy even as the global population steadily rises. Every iota of warming leads to even more catastrophic consequences.
No one expected the national climate plans submitted in 2015 to solve the problem. In fact, even if all the Paris commitments are realized, global temperatures would still be on track to rise 2.7 to 3.7 degrees C (4.9 to 6.7 degrees F) in the next century.
Climate change is humanity''s largest challenge; it would be sheer hubris to think we would fix it in one fell swoop. The beauty of the pact is that it calls for countries to come back to the table every five years -- in 2020, 2025 and so on -- with new plans informed by the latest advances in high-tech, science and shifting markets.
Economic, technological and market trends since 2015 provide a compelling case for countries to strengthen their climate plans next year. And there are signs that some industries are making environmentally friendly shifts. Renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels nearly everywhere. More affordable energy-storage options are making wind and solar attractive options, even when the wind doesn''t blow and the sun sets. Plummeting battery prices are expected to make electric cars cheaper than gas cars just three years from now. And the F-150 pickup? Ford is planning for it to go electric and a number of leading car manufacturers are following suit.
In recent years the very concept of climate action has shifted from a potential burden to a major economic opportunity as countries compete in the race for the $26 trillion in benefits from bold climate action between now and 2030.
To prepare for the major moment of truth in 2020, world leaders are gathering at the UN Climate Action Summit in September in New York. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has set a clear benchmark for success by challenging countries to present concrete plans to strengthen their climate commitments and make them compatible with the Paris goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C.
This summit is a wake-up call for heads of state, ministers, mayors and business leaders to get ready to up their game. It is also an opportunity to show the rising generation of climate activists how this time world leaders will keep their promises. Now is the time to jump-start climate action and get on a path to a brighter future. Countries have just one year to step forward with bigger, bolder commitments that respond to the scale of the climate crisis. Our children are in the streets demanding a world worth living in.
* Helen Mountford is vice president for climate and economics at the World Resources Institute. Helen was previously the deputy director of environment for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, featured on CNN:
May 2019
Young people have led the climate strikes. Now we need adults to join us too - youth activists for Fridays for Future
Tomorrow, schoolchildren and students will be out on the streets again, in huge numbers, in 150 countries, at over 4,000 events, demanding that governments immediately provide a safe pathway to stay within 1.5C of global heating.
We spent weeks and months preparing for this day. We spent uncountable hours organising and mobilising when we could have just hung out with our friends or studied for school.
We don’t feel like we have a choice: it’s been years of talking, countless negotiations, empty deals on climate change and fossil fuel companies being given free rides to drill beneath our soils and burn away our futures for their profit.
Politicians have known about climate change for decades. They have willingly handed over their responsibility for our future to profiteers whose search for quick cash threatens our very existence.
We have learned that if we don’t start acting for our future, nobody else will make the first move. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
Once again our voices are being heard on the streets, but it is not just up to us. We feel a lot of adults haven’t quite understood that we young people won’t hold off the climate crisis ourselves. Sorry if this is inconvenient for you. But this is not a single-generation job. It’s humanity’s job. We young people can contribute to a larger fight and that can make a huge difference.
So this is our invitation. Starting on Friday 20 September we will kickstart a week of climate action with a worldwide strike for the climate. We’re asking adults to step up alongside us. There are many different plans under way in different parts of the world for adults to join together and step up and out of your comfort zone for our climate.
Let’s all join together, with your neighbours, co-workers, friends, family and go out on to the streets to make your voices heard and make this a turning point in our history.
This is about crossing lines – it’s about rebelling wherever one can rebel. It’s not about saying “Yeah, what the kids do is great, if I was young I would have totally joined in.” It doesn’t help, but everyone can and must help.
During the French revolution mothers flooded the streets for their children. Today we children are fighting for ourselves, but so many of our parents are busy discussing whether our grades are good, or a new diet or what happened in the Game of Thrones finale – while the planet burns.
This moment has to happen. Last year’s UN intergovernmental panel on climate change’s special report on global warming was clear about the unprecedented dangers of going beyond 1.5C of global heating. Emissions must drop rapidly – so that by the time we are in our mid- and late-20s we are living in a completely transformed world.
But to change everything, we need everyone. It is time for all of us to unleash mass resistance – we have shown that collective action does work. We need to escalate the pressure to make sure that change happens, and we must escalate together.
So this is our chance – join us on climate strike this September. People have risen up before to demand action and make change; if we do so in numbers we have a chance. If we care, we must do more than say we do. We must act. This won’t be the last day we need to take to the streets, but it will be a new beginning. We’re counting on you.
* Greta Thunberg, Kyra Gantois, Luisa Neubauer, Eslem Demirel, Vanessa Nakate, Noga Levy-Rappoport, Isra Hirsi, Zhang Tingwei, Angela Valenzuela, Martial Breton, Nurul Fitrah Marican, Asees Kandhari, Jessica Dewhurst, Alexandria Villasenor, Jonas Kampus, George Bond, Lena Bühler, Kallan Benson, Linus Dolder, Beth Irving, Zel Whiting, Marenthe Middelhoff, Lubna Wasim, Radhika Castle, Parvez Patel, Wu Chun-Hei, Anjali Pant, Tristan Vanoni, Luca Salis, Brian Wallang, Anisha George, Hiroto Inoue, Haven Coleman, Maddy Fernands, Bhavreen Malhotra Kandhari, Feliquan Charlemagne, Salomée Levy, Karla Stephan, Anya Sastry, Claudio Ramirez Betancourt, Vicente Gamboa Soto, Julia Weder, Lilly Platt, Balder Claassen, Kassel Hingee, Maria Astefanoaei and Pavol Mulinka are youth activists for Fridays for Future
* IPCC Summary (34pp):
Mar. 2019
Civil society stands in solidarity with ''Fridays For Future'' global student strikes
Decades of dependence on a carbon-based economy has produced grave injustices on a global scale. Our children, grandchildren and the many vulnerable communities and species on the planet now have to carry the burden of a crisis that they have not caused.
The youth are forced to act like grown-ups. Faced with government inaction despite the stark warnings from scientists to act, young people chose to leave school to confront a system that failed us all, but particularly those with the least power.
Years of empty promises to address the climate emergency have created intergenerational mistrust. Our children and grandchildren don’t trust us as adults, citizens, business people and politicians. Around the world, young people are taking to the streets to reclaim a safe future.
They are not alone in this fight. They have inspired us to join them in saying: no, our future is not for sale and governments must ensure that fossil fuels are kept in the ground. We will exert all efforts to guarantee their victory.
This newly generated grassroots power is putting the last nail in the coffin of the fossil fuel industry and advocating for true, rights- and evidence-based solutions to climate change.
It is essential that governments act on climate and work with vulnerable communities to protect them from dangerous warming while we ensure ecosystems can thrive and restore. The science is clear we must move faster to avoid catastrophe by decarbonizing the economy, cutting emissions by half by 2030 to reach zero emissions by 2050.
We, the members of civil society, stand in solidarity with students worldwide demanding climate justice. We shall relentlessly support their effort until they meet the success of their struggle through concrete government action to resolve the climate emergency.
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF''s global climate and energy practice said:
“We should all be showing solidarity with the inspiring actions being taken by young people all over the world. Whether it is the school strikes and street marches demanding climate action, or young people who are suing their governments over climate change, the youth are demanding that we stop stealing their future. As Swedish youth activist Greta Thunberg said at COP24, ''we are running out of time. Change is coming whether you like it or not.'' It is young people like her that are challenging us to show that change is possible, and we must rise to the challenge.”
May Boeve, Executive Director said:
“The thing with the climate crisis, that these children know is: it’s not going anywhere. Change is coming whether we like it or not, so we have to face up to the choices we can make in order to avoid the worst case scenarios of climate change. We can shape those changes to benefit our communities and humanity as a whole. The time to do so is now. We should not have needed our children to take to the streets to realise that. But it has come to that. So right now, we need to join these young people. The real impact begins when we (adults) use our power, join in and don’t just applaud from the sidelines.”
Josianne Gauthier, Secretary General, CIDSE – Together for Global Justice said:
“As leaders within civil society, used to speaking with decision-makers, we need to stand by and march along with the young people who have taken to the streets. It’s a matter of coherence, intergenerational justice, and legitimacy. We must allow ourselves to be swept up in the real emotion of their impatience and their hope. They are reminding us that talk is not enough, and that action, and sometimes reaction is required. The change is here and they are leading it. For once, we just need to listen and do what is right.”
Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, National Organizer and Spokesperson, Young Evangelicals for Climate Action said:
“Kids shouldn’t have to worry about whether they’ll have a safe and productive world when they grow up. Yet decades of inexcusable political intransigence and cynical pursuit of profit from the adults in the room have left them no choice. In the age of climate change, we can add our children’s innocence to the laundry list of sacrifices offered on the altar of greed. The moral clarity if these courageous children is a gift. When few others are, they are leading with energy, creativity, and hope, and they deserve our full support. Their actions honor God the Creator, they honor their neighbors hard hit by climate impacts, and they honor themselves and generations to come. May our leaders have the courage to see them and to respond. May we all have the courage to see them and to respond.”
Bridget Burns, Director, Women’s Environment and Development Organization, said:
“WEDO stands in solidarity with the thousands of inspiring young people, in all their diversity and from all over the world, as they continue their unwavering quest for environmental justice. The current state of the climate crisis and its impacts are a clear threat to the future of humanity and our planet, and as advocates for environmental integrity, we proudly join these fearless, powerful voices - including many amazing young women leaders - as they continue to push for real action from governments and decision-makers at the frontlines. We must continue to collectively rise up across all generations, and vigorously fight for change.”
Caroline Kende-Robb, Executive Director for CARE International, said:
“The worsening impacts of climate change threaten us all, especially the next generation. Will leaders act now or continue to ignore the climate crisis as youth protests and school walkouts ripple across the globe? CARE joins their fight and Greta Thunberg’s criticism of leaders’ inaction on climate change. Our children have made climate action a priority, and we must heed their call.”
Sanjeev Kumar, CEO & Founder of Change Partnership, said:
“Young people around the world are highlighting the grave injustice of inadequate action and empty rhetoric which has blighted meaningful action on climate change for decades. We stand with them in the struggle to stop polluters polluting and defending the rights of victims everywhere.”
Nouhad Awwad, National Coordinator, Arab Youth Climate Movement-Lebanon, said:
“AYCM as a grassroots movement run by youth urge policymakers to take immediate actions to raise climate ambitions. We will be protesting in Lebanon on the 15th of March to say that our children in schools deserve a better future. School strikes are an awareness tool for our fellow people and an alert for leaders to go in line with the Paris Agreement. Greta Thunberg said “We will have to go for a very, very long time, I think” and we are ready to go with her in the climate action road.”
Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, said:
“The strikes make it clear to leaders that they need to take ambitious and immediate action. EU leaders meeting next week simply cannot ignore this powerful call to address the climate crisis. They need to work towards taking a decision on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero as soon as possible, and massively scaling up emission cuts by 2030. If leaders harness the momentum for more climate action that the youth create, we will still be able to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change.”
Carroll Muffett, President, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), said:
“Children around the world are standing up and speaking out on climate change because they must. Their rights, their lives and their future are at stake—as are the rights, lives, and future of all of us. While the US President tweets climate denial, the Speaker of the House dismisses the Green New Deal as a dream, and the countries and companies most responsible for climate change embrace inertia over ambition, children around the world are taking action. They are leaving classrooms, entering courtrooms, and taking to the streets. That is where they belong until the world takes the urgent and meaningful climate action that is needed. It’s where we all belong. CIEL is proud to stand in solidarity with their efforts and follow their leadership. We urge those in office—or seeking office—to do the same.”
Hannah Mowat, Campaigns Coordinator, Fern, said:
"Today Fern’s offices are closed in solidarity with the tens of thousands of young people who are taking to the streets to protest against politicians’ frightening lack of action on climate change. Their demand is simple: governments must act on the irrefutable science, and that science is clear: without forest protection and restoration, climate change will be impossible to stop."
Nick Mabey, CEO, E3G (Third Generation Environmentalism), said:
“Politicians have a duty to represent everyone’s interests not just those who vote for them. They must listen to the unprecedented voice of young people who are striking so that for their future has its rightful place at the decision-making table. Politicians should also realise that they and their parties are now under scrutiny by the next generation of voters, who will remember who stood up for their rights and their safety in this critical time.”
Floris Faber, Director, ACT Alliance Advocacy to the European Union, said:
"Youth are leading the way, and the world should follow suit. Climate change is a devastating threat to us all. This is especially true for poor and vulnerable communities, who are already facing the effects of climate change. Severe droughts, floods and destructive hurricanes are jeopardizing the development we all want to see. The multilateral response on climate change must include both transition towards a green and sustainable economy, and urgent support for adaptation, to increase communities resilience. There is no time to waste!"
David Howell, Climate and Energy lead at SEO/BirdLife in Spain, said:
“Our youth are our future, and their protests are showing us the path we need to follow to guarantee them their future, in what is their century. Across Spain the number of planned student protests has increased tenfold in two weeks, and we expect more in the coming weeks and months. Their message is crystal clear and should be at the forefront of the thinking of any serious politician in a key election year for Spain. In purely selfish terms, a political party which wants the support of younger voters must have a clear, coherent and ambitious programme for the future of the economy in the fight against climate change.”
Jagoda Munic, Director of Friends of the Earth Europe, said:
“The young people on strike today speak with the authenticity of those whose lives will be dominated by climate breakdown, a crisis they did not cause. Climate change still feels distant to many – but it is close to home for the youth taking action today. Their demands for real, massive and immediate action for a fossil-free society must be heard. Friends of the Earth gives them our full support. “If decision makers were to act in line with youth climate strikers’ demands, they would be tripling our renewable energy goals, shutting off trade deals with climate deniers, and switching finance off fossil fuels to the fossil-free future we need.”
Oyvind Eggen, Director for Rainforest Foundation Norway, said:
“All parent generations have called for the younger generations to take responsibility, and history tells us they do. We are in a unique moment in history when the young ones not only take responsibility for their own time and their future, but also struggle to compensate for several previous generations’ wrongdoing. It is sad for the elder generations that they have to, but extremely encouraging to see that they are picking up the fight. And it is a very strong message to our generation: To make it possible at all for the young to take responsibility for the world, we must stop emissions now and save the remaining rainforests, so we have something to hand over to them.”
Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy Union of Concerned Scientists, said:
“We stand in solidarity with student climate strikers around the world, and support their demand that our political leaders address the climate crisis with the urgency and focused action that the science so clearly requires. We are inspired by their moral clarity, and are hopeful that their actions will help drive the transformational changes that are needed to come to grips with the climate crisis.”
Sanjay Vashist, Director, Climate Action Network South Asia, said:
“Future leaders of this world refuse to watch the destruction of planet. Climate change today threatens the sustainable needs of the present and future generations. These needs should be dealt with urgency, but leaders today are driven by vested interests and have failed in decision making. Strikes by school students is among the most effective ways to demand for a secure future for the next generation that can only be ensured by today''s leaders.”
Nithi Nesadurai, Regional Coordinator, Climate Action Network Southeast Asia, said:
“We fully empathise with the strike actions of school students. They have been completely let down by our political leaders, at the global and national levels, entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding their future against climate change. As current leaders have wholly failed in their duty and still do not display any sign of urgency this crisis demands, it is only natural that students fill the vacuum created by seizing the leadership on addressing climate change which forecasts a bleak future for them in particular. We salute the students’ vision and determination and hope their actions are finally able to break the impasse and lethargy displayed by current leaders and bring about the dynamic changes required to tackle the climate crisis head-on.”
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Civilians continue to suffer devastating consequences in armed conflict situations
by Humanitarian & Non-Government Organizations
May 2019
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.
* UN WebTV: 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:
# UN Web TV: Protection of civilians in armed conflict - UN Security Council Open debate:
* UN Secretary-General’s report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict:

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