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08/20/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/20/2019 14:26

Observing Seventieth Anniversary of Geneva Conventions, Security Council Issues Presidential Statement Reaffirming Their Fundamental Importance

The Security Council reaffirmed today - in observing the seventieth anniversary of their adoption - the fundamental importance of the 1949 Geneva Conventions for the protection of those affected by armed conflict, and recalled the obligation of States parties to ensure that they are respected in all circumstances.

In a presidential statement (document S/PRST/2019/8) issued by Jacek Czaputowicz, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Poland and Council President for August, members also welcomed the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and reaffirmed its strong condemnation of violations of international humanitarian law committed by all parties to armed conflict, as well as violations and abuses of international human rights law. It called upon all parties to comply with their legal obligations.

The Council expressed serious concern about situations of non-adherence to international humanitarian law, including through indiscriminate attacks or attacks targeting civilians. It also condemned other violations of international humanitarian law, including the use of starving civilians as a method of warfare, unlawful denial of access to humanitarian assistance and humanitarian personnel, and attacks against medical personnel and medical facilities.

It went on to recall the obligation of States parties to search for persons alleged to have committed - or to have ordered the commission - of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, as well as their obligation to have such persons put on trial.

The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 3:06 p.m.