Security Council Resolution 2286: Healthcare and Armed Conflict – statement on behalf of Egypt, Japan, Spain, Uruguay and New Zealand
United Nations/World Trade Organisation
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the five co-drafters of Security Council resolution 2286 on Healthcare in Armed Conflict: Egypt, Japan, Spain, Uruguay and my own country, New Zealand.
I thank the Permanent Missions of Sweden, Belgium, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Germany and Peru for once again drawing to light the ongoing attacks on medical facilities and medical personnel, and the devastating impact such attacks have on civilian populations.
In early 2016, we, as five elected members of the Security Council from different regions, united with the ambitious objective of comprehensively addressing these attacks.
As a result, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2286 with a historic number of co-sponsors.
At a time when attacks were increasing, the resolution was the first in the Security Council to address the protection of health care in conflict.
Resolution 2286 reiterates the international community’s conviction that hospitals must not be considered military objectives.
That international law must be upheld, and that those responsible for serious violations be held accountable.
That the wounded and sick, and those medical personnel that care for them must receive appropriate protection.
Furthermore, that safe and unimpeded passage for medical personnel and their supplies to all people requiring assistance must not be compromised.
Yet, since the resolution was adopted, we have continued to witness outrageous and deliberate attacks on healthcare in conflict. Today, more than two and a half years later, it is sadly evident that much of the content of the resolution is not being implemented.
Resolution 2286 goes beyond condemning the attacks and reiterating international obligations. It also contains practical advice on preventing those attacks.
In particular, it address issues such as humanitarian access, education and training in international humanitarian law, the provision of adequate information, the fight against impunity, and the need to investigate violations to ensure accountability.
We need to move forward, to go beyond what was adopted in 2016. Resolution 2286 was a first step. But more is needed.
We recognise the importance of the monitoring of attacks, and the collection and analysis of the relevant information as part of any implementation effort.
Prevention will be improved as long as we make use of the relevant information in order to identify good practices and lessons learned.
And most importantly, we encourage member states to find a way to make sure that investigations into serious violations of IHL relating to the protection of medical care are conducted on a regular, effective, independent and impartial basis. Because knowing what happened is the best way to prevent those attacks in the future.
Finally, Resolution 2286 established a reporting architecture which will ensure that the question of attacks on the medical mission will continue to receive regular attention by the Security Council. We call on all the members of the Security Council to continue to demand compliance with international law and take decisions which do everything possible to protect civilians caught up in situations of armed conflict.
All Member States, not only those in the Security Council or those who are parties to armed conflict, have a responsibility to take action. Violations of international humanitarian law must continue to be condemned and investigated, and violators must be brought to justice.
We, co-penholders of resolution 2286, are sure that there is room for improvement and intend, together with other interested parties, to continue fulfilling our responsibility.