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Heads of UN and Red Cross issue joint warning

10/31/2015. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, and the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, have issued an unprecedented joint warning about the impact of today’s conflicts on civilians and appealed for urgent and concrete action to address human suffering and insecurity.

The two leaders stressed the importance of respect for international humanitarian law in order to stem the chaos and prevent further instability.

They called on States to take the following urgent actions:

  • Redouble efforts to find sustainable solutions to conflicts and take concrete steps to that effect.
    Individually and collectively, use every means to wield influence over parties to armed conflict to respect the law,
  • Condemn those who commit serious violations of international humanitarian law,
  • Ensure unhindered access to medical and humanitarian missions and protect medical and humanitarian workers and facilities,
  • Protect and assist internally displaced people and refugees ,
  • Stop the use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas.

“Rarely before have we witnessed so many people on the move, so much instability, so much suffering, said Mr Maurer. In armed conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere, combatants are defying humanity’s most fundamental norms.”

Some sixty million people around the world have been displaced from their homes because of conflict and violence – the highest figure since the Second World War.

Read the full article on the ICRC website

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