UN / HUMANITARIAN LAW

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01-Apr-2019 00:02:36
As the world marks 70 years since the Geneva Conventions were adopted, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock told the Security Council that as combatants have increasingly resorted to siege and starvation as weapons of war, “hunger levels have again increased after decades of decline.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / HUMANITARIAN LAW
TRT: 02:36
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / FRENCH / NATS

DATELINE: 01 APRIL 2019, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

01 APRIL 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Med shot, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian:
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“Wars have forced nearly 70 million people to flee their homes. As combatants have resorted to siege and starvation as weapons of war, and as conflict has prevented farmers from reaping their harvests, destroyed vital infrastructure, and disrupted commercial trade, hunger levels have increased again, after decades of decline.”
5. Various shots, delegates
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“Protracted conflict and chronic crises have caused humanitarian needs to spiral. This year, 139 million people are in acute humanitarian need, most of them because of armed conflict. Three times the number of a decade ago. Combatants deliberately hinder humanitarian operations, slowing them down, driving up costs and blocking aid from reaching people in need. Violence against humanitarian workers, including killing and maiming, kidnapping and abductions, likewise hinders humanitarian operations.”
7. Med shot, Harvard Professor Naz K. Modirzadeh
8. SOUNDBITE (French) Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, France:
“The debate we are having today highlights the need to have international mobilization and to preserve humanitarian space. And that’s the reason why Heiko Mass and myself decided to launch today an international mobilization for humanitarian action called ‘Humanitarian Call for Action and we hope will result in the adoption of a declaration of commitment of states on the margins of the upcoming General Assembly.”
9. Med shot, Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Heiko Maas, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Germany:
“Germany and France are determined to advance the exchange on this issue with all of you. Our aim is to compile concrete recommendations in the coming months in a ‘Humanitarian Call for Action’. It is intended to provide answers to pressing questions: Where and how should we ensure the protection of aid workers and those receiving assistance? Where do we need training and instruction in international humanitarian law? And how can we better support compliance with international humanitarian law in conflict regions?”
11. Wide shot, Council

STORYLINE:

As the world marks 70 years since the Geneva Conventions were adopted, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock today (1 Apr) told the Security Council that as combatants have increasingly resorted to siege and starvation as weapons of war, “hunger levels have again increased after decades of decline.”

Addressing the 15-member body, Lowcock said, “Wars have forced nearly 70 million people to flee their homes” and pointed out that “combatants have resorted to siege and starvation as weapons of war” and “conflict has prevented farmers from reaping their harvests, destroyed vital infrastructure, and disrupted commercial trade.”

The UN humanitarian chief said “protracted conflict and chronic crises have caused humanitarian needs to spiral. This year, 139 million people are in acute humanitarian need, most of them because of armed conflict. Three times the number of a decade ago. Combatants deliberately hinder humanitarian operations, slowing them down, driving up costs and blocking aid from reaching people in need. Violence against humanitarian workers, including killing and maiming, kidnapping and abductions, likewise hinders humanitarian operations.”

He proposed five areas of action: promoting policies and practices to strengthen adherence to international humanitarian law; deepening understanding and acceptance of existing rules of war; measures to enabling humanitarian and medical activities; carrots and sticks to boost compliance; and accountability.

Before the start of today’s session, the foreign ministers of Germany and France, who share the presidency of the Council for the months of April and May, launched an initiative called ‘Humanitarian Call for Action.’”

Addressing the Council France’s Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said, “the debate we are having today highlights the need to have international mobilization and to preserve humanitarian space.”

Le Drian expressed hope that this initiative “will result in the adoption of a declaration of commitment of states on the margins of the upcoming General Assembly.”

For his part, Germany’s Foreign Minister said the ‘Humanitarian Call for Action’ is intended “to provide answers to pressing questions: Where and how should we ensure the protection of aid workers and those receiving assistance? Where do we need training and instruction in international humanitarian law? And how can we better support compliance with international humanitarian law in conflict regions?”
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