Security Council discusses protection of civilians in armed conflict

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UNMIS troops patrol in Abyei area to protect civilians

The Security Council on Tuesday held an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts around the world.

The meeting, convened under the presidency of the Republic of Korea, is attended by foreign ministers of countries that are members of the  Council.

In his address, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the debate is an important opportunity for the Council and Member States to reflect on the impact of armed conflict on civilians.

He urged members of the Council to bring what he said is their "considerable powers to bear on reducing the unacceptable toll conflict is taking every day on civilians."

"Every day, civilians are being killed or maimed in targeted or indiscriminate attacks. Women and girls, men and boys are raped in front of their families. Children and youths are abducted, held in sexual slavery or compelled to take up arms and inflict abuses on their own communities – scarring them for life. Families are forced from their homes into a state of desperation and dependency from which they may never escape." (29)

The Secretary-General said the Security Council needs to reflect on the actions that must be taken to increase compliance with international law. 

Donn Bobb, United Nations

Duration: 1'12"

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