UN / PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS

12-Feb-2014 00:02:54
The UN Security Council reaffirmed its commitment regarding the protection of civilians in armed conflict and recalled that States bear the primary responsibility to respect and ensure the human rights of their citizens. UNTV
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STORY: UN / PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS
TRT: 2.54
SOURCE: UNTV
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 12 FEBRUARY 2014, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior UN building

10 FEBRUARY 2014, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Wide shot, delegations
4. Wide shot, Security Council and screens
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“I am particularly concerned about the situation in Syria, including the use of sieges as a method of warfare and its tremendous impact on the civilian population. At least 245,000 Syrian, including women and children, remain trapped and struggle to survive. Both the Syrian government and antigovernment groups are failing to fulfil their obligation under international law.”
6. Med shot, delegates
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs:
“I regret to inform the Council that despite the extensive human rights and humanitarian law which has been put in place and the widespread availability of social media which is now used to track atrocities against civilians, civilians continue to be killed, injured and maimed in conflict by targeted or indiscriminate attacks on a regular basis. They are arbitrarily detained, tortured, raped or forcibly recruited. They are displaced, to an uncertain fate, often with no or only limited access to basic necessities.”
8. Med shot, delegations
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs:
“In many respects we seem to be going backwards as international exhortations, including from this Council, go unheeded. In Syria, civilians have been subjected to brutal violence for almost three years and there appears to be no end in sight. We all hope that the current talks in Geneva will deliver a positive result.”
10. Med shot, delegations
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations:
“While our troops may need to stand against rogue government elements to protect civilians, peacekeeping is viable only with the consent of the host government. The protection of civilians by UN peacekeepers should therefore never be confused with non-consensual intervention under Pillar III of the Responsibility to Protect framework. With the increasing complexity of the situation in the field, peacekeepers are vital actors in improving the protection of civilians in armed conflict and they play a central role in the Secretary General's Rights Up Front Network.”
12. Wide shot, Security Council
STORYLINE
The UN Security Council reaffirmed today (12 Feb) its commitment regarding the protection of civilians in armed conflict and recalled that States bear the primary responsibility to respect and ensure the human rights of their citizens.

In a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told the Security Council by teleconference from Geneva that States must do more to ensure that violations of international of human rights and humanitarian law are investigated and perpetrators held accountable.

She said “I am particularly concerned about the situation in Syria, including the use of sieges as a method of warfare and its tremendous impact on the civilian population.”

Pillay added that “at least 245,000 Syrian, including women and children, remain trapped and struggle to survive. Both the Syrian government and anti-government groups are failing to fulfill their obligation under international law.”

Also speaking to the Security Council, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos said that civilians continue to be killed, injured and maimed in conflict by targeted or indiscriminate attacks.

She said “in many respects we seem to be going backwards as international exhortations, including from this Council, go unheeded.”

Amos added that the recent examples of Syria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan bear this out with parties of conflict failing sometimes deliberately to respect and protect civilians pursuant to their obligations under international humanitarian law.

The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous said that more than 95 per cent of peacekeepers work today in missions specifically mandated by the Security Council to protect civilians.

He said “while our troops may need to stand against rogue government elements to protect civilians, peacekeeping is viable only with the consent of the host government. The protection of civilians by UN peacekeepers should therefore never be confused with non-consensual intervention under Pillar III of the Responsibility to Protect framework.”

Ladsous noted that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, peacekeepers have utilized a clear and robust mandate to respond to those who would perpetrate attacks on civilians, and this past November witnessed the surrender of the M23 rebel movement.

He added that the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has in recent weeks provided unprecedented protection for up to 85,000 civilians fleeing violence.
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