States have primary responsibility for protecting civilians: Security Council

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A peacekeeper of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) with a group of children during patrols (01/03/2007)

The UN Security Council has expressed its deep concern that civilians continue to account for the vast majority of casualties in situations of armed conflict.

In a presidential statement late Tuesday following a day-long meeting, the Council reaffirmed that parties to armed conflict bear the primary responsibility to take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians.

And it urged parties to armed conflict to meet civilians' basic needs, giving particular attention to the specific needs of women and children, refugees, internally displaced persons, as well as other civilians who may have specific vulnerabilities, including persons with disabilities and older persons.

The Security Council remains committed to addressing the impact of armed conflict on civilians and its consequences in post-conflict situations, in particular on women and children.

The Council strongly condemned all violations of international law against civilians, in particular the deliberate targeting of civilians, indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks, and sexual and gender-based violence, including the use of sexual violence for political motivations and as a tactic of war.

The Security Council also emphasized the importance of ensuring that peacekeeping missions with protection of civilian mandates develop mission-wide protection strategies for incorporation in the overall mission implementation plans and contingency plans in consultation with the host Government, local authorities, troop- and police-contributing countries, and other relevant actors.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’24″

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