UN must to more to protect 10m people in global war zones

The UN Security Council has been told to strengthen its efforts to protect civilians in armed conflicts, after it was estimated that at least 10 million people caught up in 20 separate wars around the world are cut off from access to aid workers.

Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, told the Council that this year’s 10th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda “provides a chilling impetus for us to reflect on ways to better protect vulnerable civilian populations in the height of crises and in their immediate aftermath”.

The time is now right for the Council to adopt a resolution showing it will maintain an aggressive stance on protecting civilians, he said. The Council’s last resolution on the subject was issued four years ago.

“We need to find better ways to provide humanitarian assistance quickly and efficiently, as soon as the security situation on the ground allows, whenever civilians are in desperate need,” Mr Egeland added.

The current situations in: the Darfur region of western Sudan; northern Uganda; Côte d’Ivoire; the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); Haiti; Liberia; Colombia; Chechnya; Guinea; the Central African Republic; Afghanistan; Iraq; the occupied Palestinian territory; and Somalia, were all caused for serious concern, he said.


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