Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict debate – February 2013

About the author(s):

Katharine Fortin is an Associate Professor at Utrecht University where she teaches IHL and IHRL. Before joining Utrecht University, she worked at the ICTY, ICC and Norton Rose Fulbright. She is the author of The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2017) which won the 2018 Lieber Prize. She has written widely about the framework of law that applies to armed groups in non-international armed conflicts and is one of the editors of the Armed Groups and International Law blog.

On 12th February, the Security Council met to convene an open debate on the topic of the protection of civilians in armed conflict. The debate was based on a concept paper prepared by the Republic of Korea which currently has the presidency of the Security Council.

The debate was opened with statements by the Secretary General of the United Nations and Navi Pillay the United Nations High Commisioner for Human Rights.  These statements were followed by a briefing by Philip Spoerri, the Director for International Law and Cooperation of the ICRC on the issues which are of primary concern to the ICRC.

Statements were made by representatives  of the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Australia, Togo, Morocco, Guatemala, Luxembourg, France, China, Russian Federation, Argentina, Italy, Liechtenstein, Israel, Colombia, Japan, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Canada, Estonia, South Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire (on behalf of the Economic Community of West African States), Senegal, Belgium, Uruguay, India, Indonesia, Sweden, Norway (on behalf of Argentina, Austria, Indonesia), Costa Rica, Malaysia, Bangladesh, United Republic of Tanzania, Lithuania, Netherlands, Mexico, Armenia, Venezuela, Ireland, Austria, Croatia, Nigeria, Montenegro, Germany, Benin, Nicaragua, Chile, New Zealand, Botswana, Ecuador, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sri Lanka, Hungary, Qatar, Turkey, Sudan, Georgia, Sierra Leone and Bolivia.

A detailed press release recording the proceedings can be found here and a full account of the proceedings can be found here.

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