We congratulate Uruguay on its membership to the Security Council and presidency this month and for convening this important debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.
We meet at a critical moment witnessing the immense suffering of millions of civilians in conflicts around the world, particularly in the Middle East, where civilians are bearing the highest toll of armed conflict in all forms, including foreign occupation. As noted in various reports, deliberate targeting and indiscriminate attacks on civilians characterize many of today’s conflicts, resulting in vast civilian casualties, displacement and suffering, and direct attacks on humanitarian personnel and facilities and access restrictions impair the ability to help and protect those in most need. This toll has compelled the largest movement of refugees since World War II with grave humanitarian, social, economic, psychological and security consequences for the children, women and men whose fate it is to become a refugee, as well as consequences for the countries in conflict, receiving countries and the international community as a whole. [Read more…]