ALERT – UN Security Council finally adopts a Resolution on global ceasefire in response to COVID-19 pandemic | July 7, 2020

Masks made of different fabrics

On Wednesday 1 July, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2532 (2020) calling for the immediate end of hostilities and for a humanitarian pause for at least 90 days, in order to enable the provision of humanitarian assistance in response to COVID-19. With three months of delay, the Council shows its support to the Secretary […]

On Wednesday 1 July, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2532 (2020) calling for the immediate end of hostilities and for a humanitarian pause for at least 90 days, in order to enable the provision of humanitarian assistance in response to COVID-19.

With three months of delay, the Council shows its support to the Secretary General call for a global ceasefire to cope with the pandemic.

We welcome this unanimous vote by the UN Security Council, which was long overdue” said Anne Hery, Director of Advocacy and Institutional Relations at Humanity & Inclusion – Handicap International. “At the same time, civilians in Yemen are again subject to a spiral of violence. The Security Council should ensure all parties to conflicts are aware of this deliberation and that they abide to it”.

Humanity & Inclusion has been documenting the long-term effects of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, notably with our latest report “Death Sentence to Civilians: The Long-Term Impact of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas in Yemen”. The use of explosive weapons creates a pattern of violence, has devastating and indiscriminate consequences on civilians and puts at risk humanitarians working to respond to the pandemic. Reverberating effects of the use of explosive weapons, such as the destruction of hospitals, roads, houses, water and sanitation systems, the collapse of social support systems and economies, have a compounded impact on people during these times of pandemic, and create additional challenges to the humanitarian community capacity to respond to it. HI remains committed to ensure a strong text of the political declaration against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas currently under negotiation.

HI also welcomes the Council’s recognition of the disproportionate negative impact of the pandemic and its socio-economic impact on persons with disabilities, among other groups, as documented in our latest publication “COVID-19 in humanitarian contexts: no excuses to leave persons with disabilities behind!”. We also welcome the recognition of the role women and young people should play in the development and implementation of the COVID-19 response, and underline that all governments and humanitarian stakeholders should also ensure meaningful participation of persons with disabilities. Men, women, boys and girls with different types of disabilities should be consulted in assessments, project design phases, in particular to discuss the impact of public restrictions, and recommendations to enhance safety and access to services.

HI is particularly concerned however by the tendency for the fight against terrorism to compete with international humanitarian law. The Council Resolution mentions that the cessation of hostilities and humanitarian pause do not apply to military operations against ISIL, Al Qaeda and Al Nusra Front (ANF), and other terrorist groups. HI certainly recognizes that the fight against terrorism is key to preserving peace and security worldwide. However, we are also worried about the civilians living in areas where military operations against listed terrorist groups are ongoing. Those civilians are not going to benefit from the provisions under this Resolution, humanitarian operations cannot be preserved and humanitarian actors are put at risk.

 


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