Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – UN website reported, UN relief chief told the Security Council, the international legal framework and tools are all there to protect civilians caught up in conflict, and now it’s time for governments and armed groups to apply them.
Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock was briefing ambassadors on the Secretary-General’s recommendations for keeping more civilians safe from harm, noting that despite the UN chief’s call for a global ceasefire during the COVID-19 pandemic, deadly fighting had continued, and worsened in some areas.
By the end of 2020, nearly 100 million people faced crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity as a result of conflict. That was up from 77 million the year before.
Accountability is crucial, he concluded, telling the Council that “if war crimes go unpunished, things will get worse. Accountability for violations must be systematic and universal. What is not punished, is encouraged.
“This takes political will…to investigate and prosecute allegations of serious violations whenever they occur. We have the laws and the tools to protect civilians from harm in armed conflicts. It is time that all States and parties to conflicts, apply them.”