Speech: Acting within the core Security Council mandate to protect civilian populations affected by conflict

MoD_RSS

War Hero
Thank you Minister Czaputowicz for convening this debate, and thank you also to the Secretary-General, to Director-General Daccord, and to Ms. Edwar for briefing the Council today. And I would in particular like to thank Miss Edwar for reminding us of the human suffering, the human tragedy of war, and I salute your determination to focus on people and not on stones.

Mr President, the core mandate of this Council is to maintain international peace and security. As recognised by this Council, large-scale human suffering can fuel conflict and threaten that security. Therefore, aside from the clear moral reasons for doing so, it is within its core mandate that this Council should act to protect civilian populations affected by conflict.

However, despite our many efforts, attacks on innocent civilians and civilian infrastructure continue to take place. The Secretary-General raised the bombings in Syria. The harrowing images from Eastern Ghouta of homes bombed to rubble, and of innocent civilians – many of them children – killed indiscriminately by the Syrian regime and its backers, should shock and appal all of us. Attacks on civilians and the preventing of humanitarian aid and medical supplies from reaching them, have been a weapon used by the regime.

In Ukraine, despite repeated calls by the European Union and others to immediately stop ceasefire violations around critical civilian infrastructure, notably the Donetsk water filtration station, the indiscriminate shelling continues. And the Education Cluster, co-led by UNICEF and Save the Children, reported that in Ukraine, parties to conflict damaged 42 schools in 2017, representing an increase from 26 schools the previous year.

These attacks damage the very foundations of the systems that are essential to sustain some of the most vulnerable societies throughout periods of conflict and reconstruction.

Mr President, sadly, around the world, healthcare workers are threatened and killed. Their facilities are looted and destroyed, affecting communities’ access to healthcare for years to come. Schools also face attack, and the teachers and boys and girls within them are the target of recruitment, of sexual violence, and other abuses. Those who dedicate their lives to providing essential aid to civilians affected by conflict are also targeted. In South Sudan, more than 100 humanitarian workers have been killed since the conflict began five years ago.

We, the members of this Council, and we, the international community, must do more to protect civilians who are affected by conflict. The intentional targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure is a war crime. International humanitarian law is our framework. As Yves Daccord said, it is our fundamental principle of humanity. We must ensure that it is enforced and perpetrators are held to account.

Let me highlight three areas where the protection of civilians could be improved through the application and enforcement of international humanitarian law.

Firstly, concrete steps must be taken to integrate the protections provided by international humanitarian law into national policies and programmes. We urge states to engage constructively in the inter-governmental Strengthening Respect for International Humanitarian Law Initiative which can help States share best practice and overcome challenges to the practical implementation of international humanitarian law. The UK has recently endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration, and in line with this, and international humanitarian law, we will continue to take all feasible measures to ensure the protection of schools, their teachers, and students – including particularly girls, whose access to education is disproportionately affected by attacks. And we urge others, likewise, to endorse the Declaration and take such action. To strengthen compliance with international humanitarian law by the United Kingdom, nationally, we ensure that all of our military personnel receive robust training throughout their careers. And we are proud to share our expertise with other countries to strengthen compliance, including through making more effective military justice systems.

Secondly, effective monitoring and reporting of compliance with international humanitarian, human rights, and refugee law in situations of conflict is critical to raising awareness of protection issues, and can provide the necessary evidence base for timely political and legal action. The UK strongly supports technological advancements for monitoring and reporting of violations, including the World Health Organisation’s real-time Surveillance System of Attacks on Healthcare. We also support effective international criminal justice systems, which have an important role to play in bringing the perpetrators of atrocities to justice when States are either unable or unwilling to do so. As the Secretary-General said, we must end the climate of impunity.

And third, UN peacekeeping missions play a vital role in protecting civilians in some of the most fragile regions in the world where the application of international humanitarian law is critical. We welcome efforts to support the strengthening of human rights components in UN peacekeeping operations as well as the deployment of UN civilian human rights monitors to countries affected by conflict. Worryingly, we see at times the General Assembly seeking to weaken mandates agreed by this Council and its Fifth Committee by defunding human rights posts. This must stop. We welcome the efforts of the Secretary-General to mobilise all partners and stakeholders in support of more effective UN peacekeeping through his “Action for Peacekeeping” initiative. Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of peacekeeping missions – including through better long-term planning, the right troops and equipment, the increased participation of women, and a clear framework for monitoring and evaluating performance within missions – will further improve their ability to protect civilians.

Mr. President, today, millions of innocent civilians are suffering due to appalling violations of international humanitarian law. This leads to enormous suffering and destroys the social fabric of communities, which in turn threatens peace and security. We must ensure that these violations are not ignored, that perpetrators are held to account, and that we make it ever more difficult in the future for would-be violators to get away with such actions unseen.

Thank you Mr President.

Continue reading...
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
MoD_RSS Speech: Acting with Unity MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Sport Minister's SRA annual conference speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Emma Howard Boyd, Green Summit speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Julia Lopez speech at techUK’s ‘Building the Smarter State’ Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Lord Chancellor’s Speech: White Paper Launch - A Smarter Approach to Sentencing MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Robert Jenrick's speech to Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Home Secretary speech at the Police Superintendents' Association conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Chartered Institute of Housing 2020: Housing Minister's speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Defence Secretary's speech at meeting of UK, German and French defence ministers MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Speech to ICAEW Virtual Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Lord Chancellor’s Mansion House speech to the judiciary MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Chief Secretary to the Treasury delivers his first speech in the role to thinktank Onward MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Universities Minister speech at Festival of Higher Education MoD News 0
MoD_RSS George Eustice speech on environmental recovery: 20 July 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Commander Strategic Command, General Sir Patrick Sanders’ Speech at the Air and Space Power Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Amb Pruce's Speech at the Forum on Youths’ SOGIE & Mental Health
 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Defence Secretary keynote speech at the Air and Space Power Conference 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Defence Secretary Ben Wallace gives a speech at the Air and Space Power Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Alex Chisholm speech at Civil Service Live 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Foreign Secretary speech at India Global Week MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Education Secretary FE speech with Social Market Foundation MoD News 0
MoD_RSS A Plan for Jobs speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Local Government Association annual conference 2020: Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government's speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rushi Sunak, on the future relationship between the UK and Switzerland on financial services MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Environment Secretary speech at the COP26 Business Leaders Event MoD News 0
MoD_RSS PM Economy Speech: 30 June 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Has coronavirus killed globalisation: speech by Laura Clarke MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Digital Secretary's closing speech to the UK Tech Cluster Group MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Fiona MacGregor speech at Digital Housing Week – 22 June 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Leader of the House of Commons speech: 8 June 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Caroline Dinenage's keynote speech for the Founders Forum - Healthtech stage MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Caroline Dinenage's keynote speech at the CogX Createch Stage MoD News 0
MoD_RSS COP26 President speech at Race to Zero campaign launch MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Tourism Minister's speech at the Extraordinary G20 Tourism Ministers' Meeting on Covid-19 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS COP26 President speech at opening of Placencia Ambition Forum MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Gavin Williamson speech on COVID-19 response MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Queen's Counsel Appointments Ceremony 2020: Lord Chancellor speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Economic secretary speech to the ABCUL MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Education Secretary speech at ASCL's Annual Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Speech for Airport Operators Association annual dinner MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Budget Speech 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss speech at The House magazine's Women in Westminster: The 100 event MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Housing Minister's speech to the Planning Inspectorate MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Defence Secretary Ben Wallace gives a speech to the Atlantic Council MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Secretary of State Oliver Dowden's speech at the Enders Media and Telecoms Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Times Law Awards 2020: Robert Buckland speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Nigel Huddleston Youth Sport Trust Annual Conference speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Speech at GCR Live: Telecoms, Media and Technology 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS IAP Keeping Safe Conference: Robert Buckland speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS HMA Daniel Pruce's Speech at the Media Freedom Reception MoD News 0
Similar threads


















































Latest Threads

Top