Jump to content
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]

Rules of war


UN resolution aims to protect medical and aid workers


The United Nations Security Council has adopted a resolution on the protection of medical personnel and facilities in conflict zones.

The resolution follows bombings of hospitals in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, and recalls that such attacks can constitute war crimes.

“Even wars have limits, because wars without limits are wars without end,” said Peter Maurer, president of the Swiss-run International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to the Council ambassadors in New York City on Tuesday.

"This resolution is an important step, but it is only the beginning. I ask you to continue this momentum.”

Maurer said the ICRC has identified 2400 attacks against medical facilities, patients and doctors in 11 countries of conflict over the last three years. “That means at least two a day, every day, for three years,” he said.

The text, developed notably by New Zealand, Egypt, Spain and Uruguay, “strongly condemns acts of violence” against the ill and injured, medical and humanitarian personnel, ambulances, and buildings containing care facilities. It incorporates the provisions of international humanitarian rights law, and does not refer to specific cases.

If incidents occur, countries must lead rapid and impartial investigations to “hold guilty parties accountable”. The resolution also states that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon must make a report to the Council every 12 months on its application.

“Even wars have rules – it is time to respect them and uphold them,” the Secretary General said.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

Copyright

All rights reserved. The content of the website by swissinfo.ch is copyrighted. It is intended for private use only. Any other use of the website content beyond the use stipulated above, particularly the distribution, modification, transmission, storage and copying requires prior written consent of swissinfo.ch. Should you be interested in any such use of the website content, please contact us via contact@swissinfo.ch.

As regards the use for private purposes, it is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific content, and to place it on your own website or a website of third parties. The swissinfo.ch website content may only be embedded in an ad-free environment without any modifications. Specifically applying to all software, folders, data and their content provided for download by the swissinfo.ch website, a basic, non-exclusive and non-transferable license is granted that is restricted to the one-time downloading and saving of said data on private devices. All other rights remain the property of swissinfo.ch. In particular, any sale or commercial use of these data is prohibited.

×