UN / GUTERRES URBAN WARFARE

25-Jan-2022 00:03:12
Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council that the use of explosive weapons in urban areas, “carries a high risk of indiscriminate impact” causing “devastating harm” on civilians “both in the immediate aftermath, and in the long-term.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / GUTERRES URBAN WARFARE
TRT: 03:12
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 25 JANUARY 2022, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior UN Headquarters

25 JANUARY 2022, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Wide shot, Secretary-General António at the dais
4. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
"The use of explosive weapons in urban areas, particularly those with wide-area effects, carries a high risk of indiscriminate impact. Civilians can suffer devastating harm both in the immediate aftermath, and in the long-term. Many victims face lifelong disabilities and grave psychological trauma. Water, electricity, and sanitation infrastructure are often damaged. Healthcare services are severely disrupted."
5. Wide shot, Council
6. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
"From Afghanistan to Libya, Syria, Yemen and beyond, the risk of harm to civilians rises when combatants move among them and put military facilities and equipment near civilian infrastructure. Conflict in urban areas goes far beyond its immediate impact on civilians. It also puts people at risk of sieges and blockades, which have had a horrific impact on civilians, up to and including starvation. Urban warfare forces millions of people from their homes, contributing to record numbers of refugees and internally displaced people. Four years after the destruction of 80 percent of housing in Mosul, Iraq, an estimated 300,000 people were still displaced."
7. Wide shot, Council
8. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Attacks against civilians or civilian infrastructure, indiscriminate attacks, and the use of civilians as a human shield, are prohibited. Parties to conflict must take steps to minimize incidental civilian harm. Respect for these rules is all the more critical when armed conflict is waged in urban areas. Moreover, accountability for serious violations is essential. Member States must demonstrate the political will to investigate and prosecute alleged war crimes to the maximum extent, whenever they occur.”
9. Wide shot, Council, Peter Maurer on screen
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Peter Maurer, President, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC):
“The massive impact of urban warfare calls for good faith in interpretation and implementation of the rules governing the conduct of hostilities, notably distinction, proportionality and precaution. The ICRC is particularly concerned about the extensive use of heavy explosive weapons in urban and other populated areas, which is a principal cause of civilian harm in today's conflicts. This week, the ICRC is launching a major report on heavy explosive weapons in populated areas based on over a decade of analysis of their devastating consequences. It is clear the use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas should be avoided and prevent mitigation measures.”
11. Med shot, Secretary-General
12. Wide shot, Council
STORYLINE
Secretary-General António Guterres today (25 Jan) told the Security Council that the use of explosive weapons in urban areas, “carries a high risk of indiscriminate impact” causing “devastating harm” on civilians “both in the immediate aftermath, and in the long-term.”

Addressing an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict in urban settings, the Secretary-General said, “many victims face lifelong disabilities and grave psychological trauma” as essential services such as water, electricity and sanitation infrastructure are often damaged and healthcare services “are severely disrupted."

"From Afghanistan to Libya, Syria, Yemen and beyond, Guterres said, “the risk of harm to civilians rises when combatants move among them and put military facilities and equipment near civilian infrastructure.”

He told the Council that “conflict in urban areas goes far beyond its immediate impact on civilians. It also puts people at risk of sieges and blockades, which have had a horrific impact on civilians, up to and including starvation.”

Urban warfare “forces millions of people from their homes,” the Secretary-General said, noting that “four years after the destruction of 80 percent of housing in Mosul, Iraq, an estimated 300,000 people were still displaced."

Guterres said, “attacks against civilians or civilian infrastructure, indiscriminate attacks, and the use of civilians as a human shield, are prohibited,” urging parties to conflict to “take steps to minimize incidental civilian harm.”

Respect for these rules, he said, “is all the more critical when armed conflict is waged in urban areas,” adding that “accountability for serious violations is essential.”

Also briefing the Council, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer said, “the massive impact of urban warfare calls for good faith in interpretation and implementation of the rules governing the conduct of hostilities, notably distinction, proportionality and precaution.”

Maurer said the ICRC “is particularly concerned about the extensive use of heavy explosive weapons in urban and other populated areas, which is a principal cause of civilian harm in today's conflicts” and announced the launch of a “major report on heavy explosive weapons in populated areas based on over a decade of analysis of their devastating consequences.”

He stressed that “the use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas should be avoided and prevent mitigation measures.”
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