UN chief for protecting civilians caught in war

November 10th, 2011 - 9:39 am ICT by IANS  

United Nations, Nov 10 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for stronger global accountability and more “fundamental responsibility” in efforts to protect civilians caught in war.

Ban’s statement came at a meeting of the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, Xinhua reported.

“All of us share a fundamental responsibility to do more to protect civilians caught up in the horrors of war. In conflicts throughout the world, women, girls, boys and men continue to be subjected to blatant and frequent violation of international human rights and humanitarian law,” Ban was quoted as saying.

With civilians suffering more frequently because they are deliberately targeted, Ban called for enhanced measures by the Security Council and steps that parties to a conflict “should and must take”.

“First, we need to see enhanced compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law. Violations must be met with appropriate action from the Council, including strong condemnation where clearly warranted,” he said.

Demands for compliance should be backed by the threat of sanctions and intense scrutiny, he said, citing examples through commissions of inquiry or referrals to the International Criminal Court.

“Additionally, peacekeeping missions and other partners must continue to strengthen national institutions so that they are able to discharge their primary responsibility for enhancing security and the rule of law by the time the mission leaves,” he said.

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