UN / PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS

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27-Apr-2021 00:04:29
UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock told the Security Council, “we need to continue to leverage political dialogue, sanctions and arms transfer decisions to ensure respect for the law and the protection of civilians and the objects they depend on to survive.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS
TRT: 4:29
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 27 APRIL 2021, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior, United Nations

27 APRIL 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Multiscreen
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“The impact of armed conflict on food security can be direct, for example, through the destruction of food stocks and agricultural assets. Attacks on food drive people to move and they disrupt food systems and markets, leaving few people able to afford food or access to water and fuel to prepare food. Last year, in Nigeria, an attack on a rice farm in the outskirts of Maiduguri killed more than 110 farmers. Pillaging of food and livestock was widely reported in South Sudan between 2013 and 2020. In Yemen, air strikes and shelling have hit farms, markets, food storage sites and fishing boats.”
4. Multiscreen
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“Violence, attacks and threats against medical care significantly weakens the ability of health systems to function. What I have found particularly hard to stomach are the systematic attacks on medical facilities in Syria. The World Health Organization counted 250 such attacks between 2018 and 2020 alone. About 1,000 health-care workers have been killed in those attacks there over the last 10 years.”
6. Multiscreen
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“The first is to enhance compliance with international humanitarian law. That can be done by improving the identification of these indispensable objects and regularly updating and complying with “no-strike” lists that include them. At the same time, we need to continue to leverage political dialogue, sanctions and arms transfer decisions to ensure respect for the law and the protection of civilians and the objects they depend on to survive.”
8. Multiscreen
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“Unless there is accountability, miscreants will draw the lesson that serious crime pays. Essentially, what’s not punished is incentivized. If war crimes go unpunished, things will get worse. So ensuring accountability for serious violations of international humanitarian law is one of the greatest challenges we face in strengthening the protection of civilians. It’s especially important to ensure accountability for serious violations when those violations are themselves a tactic and a deliberate choice made by perpetrators.”
10. Multiscreen
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross:
“In protracted conflicts, children under five years old are 20 times more likely to die from disease caused by unsafe water, sanitation and from violence. Our serious work may stop this kind of suffering, we are present during the long years of war, but political solution are absent, because allowing critical infrastructure to fail is simply not an option, substituting local authorities for decades with water trucking or providing medical equipment to clinics in remote places is not an option either.”
12. Multiscreen
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Kevin Rudd, Chair, Board of Directors, International Peace Institute:
“The Secretary-General should use his good offices to engage with all parties to armed conflicts including non-state armed groups to call for restraint and to promote compliance with the law of war, reminding that the rule of precautioned attacks requires factors to spare civilian infrastructures and natural environment. UN peace operations and country teams could support the adoption of the national strategies for the protection of civilians which also include the protection of vital civilian objects and facilitates of humanitarian activities. When possible prevention should include efforts to foster cooperation around natural resources, especially water diplomacy to turn these natural resources from resources of tension into instruments of peace.”
14. Multiscreen

STORYLINE:

UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock told the Security Council, “we need to continue to leverage political dialogue, sanctions and arms transfer decisions to ensure respect for the law and the protection of civilians and the objects they depend on to survive.”

Addressing the Council today (27 Apr) on protection of civilians, Lowcock said that over the last 30 years, there has been some progress in the compliance with international humanitarian law to protect civilians and the objects that they rely on to survive, like food and medicines, hospitals and water installations, however, at the same time, big military powers are reorienting military planning, training and spending to deter and defeat enemy States.

He said, “the impact of armed conflict on food security can be direct, for example, through the destruction of food stocks and agricultural assets, adding that “attacks on food drive people to move and they disrupt food systems and markets, leaving few people able to afford food or access to water and fuel to prepare food.”

He gave the example of last year, in Nigeria, “an attack on a rice farm in the outskirts of Maiduguri killed more than 110 farmers. Pillaging of food and livestock was widely reported in South Sudan between 2013 and 2020. In Yemen, air strikes and shelling have hit farms, markets, food storage sites and fishing boats.”

Lowcock also said, “violence, attacks and threats against medical care significantly weakens the ability of health systems to function.”

He continued, “what I have found particularly hard to stomach are the systematic attacks on medical facilities in Syria. The World Health Organization counted 250 such attacks between 2018 and 2020 alone. About 1,000 health-care workers have been killed in those attacks there over the last 10 years.”

The humanitarian chief also noted ways to strengthen the protection of civilians and objects indispensable to their survival.

The first, he said is “to enhance compliance with international humanitarian law. That can be done by improving the identification of these indispensable objects and regularly updating and complying with “no-strike” lists that include them.”

Another point is that “unless there is accountability, miscreants will draw the lesson that serious crime pays. Essentially, what’s not punished is incentivized,” Lowcock said.

He said, “if war crimes go unpunished, things will get worse. So ensuring accountability for serious violations of international humanitarian law is one of the greatest challenges we face in strengthening the protection of civilians.”

Lowcock reiterated that “it’s especially important to ensure accountability for serious violations when those violations are themselves a tactic and a deliberate choice made by perpetrators.”

Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross also briefed the Council.

He said, “in protracted conflicts, children under five years old are 20 times more likely to die from disease caused by unsafe water, sanitation and from violence.”

Maurer added, “our serious work may stop this kind of suffering, we are present during the long years of war, but political solution are absent, because allowing critical infrastructure to fail is simply not an option, substituting local authorities for decades with water trucking or providing medical equipment to clinics in remote places is not an option either.”

Kevin Rudd, the Chair and Board of Directors of International Peace Institute told the Council that the Secretary-General should “use his good offices to engage with all parties to armed conflicts including non-state armed groups to call for restraint and to promote compliance with the law of war, reminding that the rule of precautioned attacks requires factors to spare civilian infrastructures and natural environment.”

He continued, “UN peace operations and country teams could support the adoption of the national strategies for the protection of civilians which also include the protection of vital civilian objects and facilitates of humanitarian activities. When possible prevention should include efforts to foster cooperation around natural resources, especially water diplomacy to turn these natural resources from resources of tension into instruments of peace.”
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