Security Council Presidential Statement Expresses Outrage that Civilians Continue to Account for Vast Majority of Casualties in Armed Conflict Situations

SC/12138
25 November 2015
7568th Meeting (AM)

Security Council Presidential Statement Expresses Outrage that Civilians Continue to Account for Vast Majority of Casualties in Armed Conflict Situations

The Security Council today expressed its intention to continue addressing the protection of civilians, both in country-specific considerations and as a thematic agenda item, outraged that they accounted for the vast majority of casualties in conflict situations, suffering forced displacement and destruction of property, among other impacts.

Issuing presidential statement S/PRST/2015/23, the Council reaffirmed its commitment to the full implementation of all its resolutions on civilian protection, as well as on women, peace and security, children and armed conflict, and peacekeeping.

“The Security Council reaffirms its strong condemnation of violations of international humanitarian law committed by all parties to armed conflict,” the statement said, calling on all parties to comply with their legal obligations.  In that context, it recalled the importance of ending impunity for violations and abuses, and of ensuring accountability.

According to the statement, the Council recognized the contribution of the updated Aide Memoire on the consideration of issues pertaining to the protection of civilians in armed conflict, stressing that it be used on a more systematic and consistent basis.  It requested that the Secretary-General submit his next report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict by 15 May 2016, and future reports every 12 months thereafter, for the Council’s formal consideration each year within the same General Assembly session.

Matthew Rycroft (United Kingdom), Council President for November, noted that members had unanimously adopted five resolutions and issued four presidential statements this month, and expressed hope that a fifth statement would be issued soon.

The meeting began at 11:38 a.m. and ended at 11:40 a.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2015/23 reads as follows:

“The Security Council reaffirms its commitment regarding the protection of civilians in armed conflict, and to the continuing and full implementation of all its previous relevant resolutions including resolutions 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), 1674 (2006), 1738 (2006), 1894 (2009), and 2222 (2015), as well as all of its resolutions on women, peace and security, children and armed conflict, and peacekeeping, and all relevant statements of its President.

“The Security Council expresses its outrage that civilians continue to account for the vast majority of casualties in situations of armed conflict and at the various short and long term impacts that conflict continues to have on civilians, including forced displacement, and damage to and destruction of civilian property and livelihoods.

“The Security Council reaffirms 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, as applicable, and calls upon all parties to comply with their legal obligations.  The Security Council recalls the importance of ensuring compliance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law, ending impunity for violations and abuses, and ensuring accountability.

“The Security Council underscores the importance it attaches to the Protection of Civilians as one of the core issues on its agenda, and expresses its intention to continue addressing this issue regularly, both in country-specific considerations and as a thematic item.

“The Security Council recognizes the contribution of the updated Aide Memoire for the consideration of issues pertaining to the protection of civilians in armed conflict*, contained in the annex to this statement, to the protection of civilians, and as a practical tool that provides a basis for improved analysis and diagnosis of key protection issues, and stresses the need to continue its use on a more systematic and consistent basis.

“The Security Council takes note of with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General on the protection of civilians in armed conflict of 18 June 2015 (S/2015/453) and the recommendations contained therein, and reiterates the need for systematic monitoring and reporting on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, and the challenges and progress made in this regard.  The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to submit his next report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict by 15 May 2016 and to submit future reports every 12 months thereafter, to be formally considered by the Security Council each year within the same General Assembly session.”

*     The initial Aide Memoire was adopted on 15 March 2002 in S/PRST/2002/6.

For information media. Not an official record.