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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Security Council resolution 2222 on protection of journalists


The Security Council

PP1 Bearing in mind its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security, and underlining the importance of taking measures aimed at conflict prevention and resolution,  

PP2 Reaffirming its resolutions 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), 1674 (2006) and 1894 (2009) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict and its resolution 1738 (2006) on the protection of journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in armed conflicts as well as other relevant resolutions and presidential statements, 

PP3 Reaffirming its commitment to the Purposes of the Charter of the United Nations as set out in Article 1 (1-4) of the Charter, and to the Principles of the Charter as set out in Article 2 (1-7) of the Charter, including its commitment to the principles of the political independence, sovereign equality and territorial integrity of all States, and respect for the sovereignty of all States, 

PP4 Recalling the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, in particular the Third Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 on the treatment of prisoners of war, and the Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977, in particular article 79 of the Additional Protocol I regarding the protection of journalists engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict, 

PP5 Recognizing that the work of journalists, media professionals, and associated personnel often puts them at specific risk of intimidation, harassment and violence in situations of armed conflict

PP6 Reaffirming that parties to an armed conflict bear the primary responsibility to take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of affected civilians, including those who exercise their right to freedom of expression by seeking, receiving and disseminating information by different means, online as well as offline, in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

PP7 Recognizing the important role of international humanitarian law, and international human rights law as applicable, in protecting journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in armed conflicts,

PP8 Further recognizing that States bear the primary responsibility to respect and ensure the human rights of their citizens, as well as individuals within their territory as provided for by relevant international law, 

PP9 Recalling the right to freedom of expression reflected in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly in 1948 (“the Universal Declaration”), and recalling also the right to freedom of expression in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted by the General Assembly in 1966 (“ICCPR”) and that any restrictions thereon shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary on the grounds set out in paragraph 3 of Article 19 of the ICCPR, 

PP10 Deeply concerned at the frequency of acts of violence in many parts of the world against journalists, media professionals, and associated personnel in armed conflict, in particular deliberate attacks in violation of international humanitarian law,

PP11 Emphasizing that there are existing prohibitions under international humanitarian law against attacks intentionally directed against civilians, as such, which in situations of armed conflict constitute war crimes, and recalling the need for States to end impunity for such criminal acts, 

PP12 Bearing in mind that impunity for crimes committed against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in armed conflict remains a significant challenge to their   protection and that ensuring accountability for crimes committed against them is a key element in preventing future attacks. 

PP13 Recognizing that journalists, media professionals and associated personnel can play an important role in protection of civilians and conflict prevention by acting as an early warning mechanism in identifying and reporting potential situations that could result in genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity,   

PP14 Reaffirming its condemnation of all incitements to violence against civilians in situations of armed conflict, and condemning the use of the media to incite violence, genocide, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian law, 

PP15 Recalling that States Parties to the Geneva Conventions have an obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed a grave breach of these Conventions, and an obligation to try them before their own courts, regardless of their nationality, or may hand them over for trial to another concerned State provided this State has made out prima facie case against the said persons,

PP16 Further recalling the responsibility of all Member States to comply with their respective obligations to end impunity and to investigate and prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes or other serious violations of international humanitarian law and noting that the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern committed against civilians has been strengthened through the work on and prosecution of these crimes by the International Criminal Court, in accordance with the principle of complementarity to national criminal jurisdictions as set out in the Rome Statute, ad hoc and mixed tribunals and specialized chambers in national tribunals, 

PP17 Expressing deep concern at the growing threat to the safety of journalists, media professionals, and associated personnel posed by terrorist groups and strongly condemning incidents of killings, kidnapping and hostage taking committed by terrorist groups for any purpose, including raising funds or gaining political concessions, and expressing its determination to prevent kidnapping and hostage taking committed by terrorist groups and to secure the safe release of hostages without ransom payments or political concessions, in accordance with applicable international law, 

PP18 Stressing the contribution that peacekeeping operations and special political missions, where mandated, can make to international efforts to promote and protect human rights, and the protection of civilians, including journalists, media professionals, and associated personnel including through monitoring and reporting on violations and abuses as well as providing support for national governments’ efforts to promote and protect human rights, and in order to strengthen the fight against impunity for crimes committed against civilians, including journalists, media professionals, and associated personnel

PP19 Recognizing the importance of a comprehensive, coherent and action-oriented approach, including in early planning, of protection of civilians in situations of armed conflict. Stressing, in this regard, the need to adopt a broad strategy of conflict prevention, which addresses the root causes of armed conflict in a comprehensive manner in order to enhance the protection of civilians on a long-term basis, including by promoting sustainable development, poverty eradication, national reconciliation, good governance, democracy, the rule of law and respect for and protection of human rights,

PP20 Acknowledging the important role that regional and sub-regional organisations can play in ensuring the protection of journalists, media professionals, and associated personnel in armed conflicts and the importance of effective co-operation between the United Nations and those organizations, 

PP21 Further acknowledging the specific risks faced by women journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in conduct of their work, and underlining in this context the importance of considering the gender dimension of measures to address their safety in situations of armed conflict, 

PP22 Recognizing that the consideration of the issue of protection of journalists in armed conflict by the Security Council is based on the urgency and importance of this issue, and recognizing the valuable role that the Secretary-General can play in providing more information on this issue,  

1. Condemns all violations and abuses committed against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in situations of armed conflict, and calls upon all parties to armed conflict to bring an end to such practices,

2. Affirms that the work of a free independent and impartial media constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society, and thereby can contribute to the protection of civilians, 

3. Recalls in this regard that journalists, media professionals and associated personnel engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered as civilians and shall be respected and protected as such, provided that they take no action adversely affecting their status as civilians. This is without prejudice to the right of war correspondents accredited to the armed forces to the status of prisoners of war provided for in article 4.A.4 of the Third Geneva Convention, 

4 Strongly condemns the prevailing impunity for violations and abuses committed against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in situations of armed conflict, which in turn may contribute to the recurrence of these acts, 

5. Emphasized the responsibility of States to comply with the relevant obligations under international law to end impunity and to prosecute those responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law,

6.  Urges Member States to take appropriate steps to ensure accountability for crimes committed against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in situations of armed conflict and through the conduct of impartial, independent and effective investigations within their jurisdiction and to bring perpetrators of such crimes to justice, 

7.   Recalls its demand that all parties to an armed conflict comply fully with the obligations applicable to them under international law related to the protection of civilians in armed conflict, including journalists, media professionals and associated personnel, 

8. Urges the immediate and unconditional release of journalists, media professionals and associated personnel who have been kidnapped or taken as hostages, in situations of armed conflict, 

9. Urges all parties involved in situations of armed conflict to respect the professional independence and rights of journalists, media professionals and associated personnel as civilians,

10. Recalls also that media equipment and installations constitute civilian objects, and in this respect shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals, unless they are military objectives,  

 11. Recognizes the important role that education and training in international humanitarian law can play in supporting efforts to halt and prevent attacks against civilians affected by armed conflict, including journalists, media professionals and associated personnel

12. Affirms that United Nations peacekeeping and special political missions, where appropriate should include in their mandated reporting information on specific acts of violence against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in situation of armed conflict,

13. Urges all parties to armed conflict to do their utmost to prevent violations of international humanitarian law against civilians, including journalists, media professionals and associated personnel, 

14 Calls upon Member States to create and maintain, in law and in practice, a safe and enabling environment for journalists, media professionals and associated personnel to perform their work independently and without undue interference in situations of armed conflict 

15. Stresses the need to ensure better cooperation and coordination at the international level, including among the United Nations and relevant international regional and sub-regional organizations, including through technical assistance and capacity-building, with regard to promoting and ensuring the safety of journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in armed conflicts, 

16. Encourages the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations to share expertise on good practices and lessons learned on protection of journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in armed conflict and, in close co-operation, to enhance the coherent and effective implementation of applicable international humanitarian law and relevant Security Council resolutions including those on protection of journalist, media professionals and associated personnel in situations of the armed conflict,

17. Invites States which have not yet done so to consider becoming parties to the additional Protocols I and II of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions at the earliest possible date  

18.  Reaffirms that it will continue to address the issue of protection of journalists in armed conflict.

19. Requests the Secretary-General to include consistently as a sub-item in his reports on the protection of civilians in armed conflict the issue of the safety and security of journalists, [media professionals and associated personnel, including the existence of measures to protect such individuals facing an imminent threat, and to ensure that information on attacks and violence against journalists, [media professionals and associated personnel and preventative actions taken to prevent such incidents is included as a specific aspect in relevant country specific reports.
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Friday, April 24, 2015

Security Council PRST on humanitarian situation in Syria

(DRAFT) PRST: The Impact of the Humanitarian Crisis in Syria on the Neighbouring Countries

The Security Council recalls its resolutions 2042 (2012), 2043 (2012), 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014), 2175 (2014), 2191 (2014), and its Presidential Statements of 3 August 2011 and 2 October 2013.
The Security Council reaffirms its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria and all other States affected by the Syrian conflict, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. 
The Security Council expresses grave alarm at the significant and rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria, including at the fact that over 220,000 people have been killed, including well over 10,000 children since the beginning of the conflict; around half of the population has been forced to flee their homes, including over 3.9 million who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, among which are nearly 2.1 million children; and that more than 12.2 million people in Syria require urgent humanitarian assistance including 440,000 civilians in besieged areas. 
The Security Council demands that all parties to the Syrian domestic conflict immediately put an end to all forms of violence and reiterates that all parties to the  Syrian domestic conflict, in particular the Syrian authorities, must comply with their applicable obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law and respect human rights, and reiterates its demand that they fully and immediately implement the provisions of its resolutions 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014),  and 2191 (2014), particularly through facilitating the expansion of humanitarian relief operations, and the immediate delivery of humanitarian assistance to hard-to-reach and besieged areas across borders and conflict lines.
The Security Council is alarmed that the Syrian crisis has become the largest humanitarian emergency crisis in the world today, threatening peace and security in the region with diverse implications on the neighbouring countries and the displacement of millions of Syrians into those countries, and calls to address further spill-over of the conflict in Syria into the neighbouring countries. 
The Security Council further calls for coordinated international  support to the neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees, at their request, in addressing legitimate security concerns and ensuring the safety and security of host communities and refugees, and countering radicalization,  through inter alia the provision of support for effective border management and internal security measures.
The Security Council reiterates its deep appreciation for the significant and admirable efforts that have been made by the countries of the region, notably Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, to accommodate Syrian refugees and is mindful of the immense costs and multifaceted challenges incurred by these countries as a consequence of the crisis.
The Security Council notes with deep concern that the crisis in Syria has had social, demographic, environmental and economic effects on neighbouring countries which have  exacerbated vulnerabilities; overstretched limited resources and basic social services such as health, water, sanitation, housing capacities, energy and education; aggravated unemployment; diminished trade and investment; and affected regional stability and security. 
The Security Council emphasizes the strain placed on host country education systems by the inflow of refugees and that additional resources will be required to help the 600,000 children outside the school system access quality education.
The Security Council underlines the risk of further regional destabilization if the conflict, refugee crisis and the needs of the host countries are not adequately addressed. The Security Council stresses the importance of funding the humanitarian and development responses to the refugee crisis, providing support for national response plans, addressing the humanitarian needs of refugees, in particular women and children, both in camps and urban areas and through capacity  building and technical support, strengthening the resilience of host countries and communities as components of stabilizing the region, preventing radicalization and countering the threat of terrorism and foreign terrorist fighters.  
The Security Council notes with concern that the international response to the Syrian and regional crisis continues to fall short of meeting the needs as assessed by host governments and the United Nations, and urges all Member States, based on burden-sharing principles, to support the United Nations and the countries of the region, including by adopting medium and long-term responses to alleviate the impact on communities, providing increased, flexible and multi-year predictable funding as well as increasing resettlement efforts, and taking note in this regard of the Berlin Communiqué of 28 October 2014. 
The Security Council urges donors, international financial institutions and UN agencies to consider financing instruments that effectively meet the unique needs of middle-income countries impacted by the Syrian conflict and address its massive structural impact on neighbouring countries.
The Security Council emphasizes the importance of complying with applicable international humanitarian law and refugee law, promoting and protecting the human rights of all people affected by the crisis and respecting the United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian emergency assistance, welcomes efforts by host countries in this regard and urges Member States to continue to help them in this effort.
The Security Council welcomes the convening of the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria generously hosted by Kuwait on 31 March 2015 and the USD$3.6 billion pledges made and calls on all Member States to ensure the timely disbursement of pledges.
The Security Council emphasizes that the humanitarian situation will continue to deteriorate in the absence of a political solution, expresses its full support for the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, and reiterates that the only sustainable solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people, with a view to full implementation of the Geneva Communique of 30 June 2012 endorsed as annex II of its resolution 2118 (2013).
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Monday, April 20, 2015

Security Council Statement on Yarmouk Camp

Press Statement

The Members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern regarding the grave humanitarian situation in Yarmouk Refugee Camp in Syria.

The Members of the Security Council called for unhindered humanitarian access to the Yarmouk Camp and for the protection of civilians inside the Camp. They welcomed UNRWA’s and Deputy Special Envoy recent efforts in Syria and stressed the need to support the emergency relief effort for civilians in Yarmouk including through funding the 30 Million USD emergency appeal and to provide the diplomatic and political support for UNRWA.

The Members of the Security Council underscored support for UN efforts to assist trapped Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk through a three-point plan that includes 1) Providing assistance for civilians who are unwilling or unable to leave Yarmouk 2) Assisting those who want to "temporarily relocate" from the camp to do so in accordance with IHL and with appropriate safeguards that they will be allowed to do so safely and freely 3) Assisting Yarmouk residents who have already fled.

The Members of the Security Council called on all parties to support the UN framework and to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, international human rights and refugees laws, and demanded that all parties cease all attacks against civilians, including shelling and aerial bombardment.

The Members of the Security Council condemned all acts of terrorism perpetrated and demanded that ISIL and Al-Nusra Front, UNSC-designated terrorist organizations, withdraw from Yarmouk Camp immediately.

The Members of the Security Council called on all parties to immediately implement the relevant Security Council resolutions including Security Council resolutions 2139, 2165 and 2191 and in line with the international humanitarian law. 

The Members of the Security Council stressed that the Council has to remain seized on this matter. 
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Friday, April 17, 2015

Iranian 4 points proposal on Yemen: Immediate end to Decisive Storm

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
17 April 2015 
H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon,
Secretary-General                                                                          
United Nations
New York
 
Excellency,

I would like to draw your attention to the extremely alarming situation in Yemen, exacerbated by the recent provocative foreign military air campaign. It goes on in flagrant defiance of the most basic principles of international law, flouting the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, in particular the obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force in international relations.

Foreign military forces have mostly targeted purely civilian infrastructures of Yemen, destroying, inter alia, hospitals, schools, road, food factories and power plants, and thus depriving civilians of basic necessities. They have also indiscriminately targeted residential areas, including refugee camps, killing and injuring innocent civilians, in particular women and children.
This critical situation is escalating and the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is approaching catastrophic dimensions. It may result in further exacerbation of the already tense circumstances in a region that has been plagued by one of the most barbaric types of extremism and multi-pronged vicious campaign of foreign-backed terrorists. These terrorist groups have been the main beneficiaries, gaining strategic foothold in Yemen aided by the foreign aerial campaign. 

Under these circumstances, it is imperative for the international community to get more effectively involved in ending the senseless aerial attacks and establishing a ceasefire, ensuring delivery of humanitarian and medical assistance to the people of Yemen and restoring peace and stability to this country through dialogue and national reconciliation without pre-conditions.
 
The Islamic Republic of Iran reiterates that there is no military solution to this conflict. The only way to restore peace and stability is to allow all Yemeni parties to establish, without any foreign interference, their own inclusive national unity government. To this end, the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that all efforts, particularly those by the United Nations, should be guided, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, by the following objectives:

1.            Ceasefire and an immediate end to all foreign military attacks;
2.            Unimpeded urgent humanitarian and medical assistance to the people of Yemen;
3.            Resumption of Yemeni-lead and Yemeni-owned national dialogue, with the participation of the representatives of all political parties and social groups;
4.            Establishment of an inclusive national unity government.

I hope that Your Excellency will urgently use your good offices and conduct consultations with the concerned parties to facilitate and encourage an immediate end to these senseless bombardments and initiation of a genuine dialogue to find a political solution to this tragic crisis.  The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran stands ready to assist you in advancing this objective.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
 
 M. Javad  Zarif
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Report of the UN Secretary-General on Western Sahara

Here is the report in Arabic and French

Report of the Secretary-General on the situation concerning Western Sahara

I. Introduction

1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2152 (2014), by which the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 30 April 2015 and requested me to provide a report to it on the situation in Western Sahara well before the end of the mandate period. It covers developments since my report dated
10 April 2014 (S/2014/258) and describes the situation on the ground, the status and progress of the negotiations on the future of Western Sahara, the implementation of resolution 2152 (2014) and the existing challenges to the Mission’s operations and steps taken to address them, as requested by the Council in its resolution 2152 (2014).

II. Recent developments

2. The situation in Western Sahara, as it presents itself to MINURSO, is generally calm. The ceasefire continues to hold. Tensions between the parties and periodic incidents and demonstrations did not have a major effect on the overall environment during the period.
3. West of the berm, public life proceeded peacefully and included large gatherings at social events in urban areas without major incidents. On the occasions MINURSO was able to witness, an extensive presence of Moroccan security forces was noted. This part of Western Sahara continued to receive significant Moroccan public infrastructure investments, notably in roads and port facilities in Boujdour and Dakhla.
4. Thirteen foreign delegations from national legislatures, diplomatic missions and governmental and non-governmental institutions, as well as journalists and academic researchers, visited MINURSO headquarters during the reporting period and were informed about the Mission’s mandate and activities. According to local authorities, some 50 additional delegations conducted visits. Also according to local authorities, 18 delegations and 8 individual travellers, mostly European supporters of Western Saharan self-determination, researchers and media workers alleged to have misrepresented their purpose, disturbed public order or refused to coordinate with the authorities, were excluded or expelled.
5. A level of discontent was perceptible among the Western Saharan population west of the berm, illustrated in intermittent demonstrations throughout the reporting period in Laayoune and other towns. These events aimed to draw attention to human rights concerns, socioeconomic issues and political demands, including the right to self-determination, with youth emphasizing the lack of employment opportunities and organizing informal associations to press for redress. These protests were small in scale and the Moroccan security forces dispersed them quickly. On several occasions, credible reports were received about the disproportionate use of force on the part of the security forces and hostile actions on the part of the demonstrators in response.

Monday, April 13, 2015

مجلس الأمن: القرار ٢٢١٦ حول اليمن

(ترجمة غير رسمية)

الأردن: مشروع قرار 

إن مجلس الأمن،
إذ يشير إلى قراراته 2014 (2011) و 2051 (2012) و 2140 (2014) و 2201 (2015) و 2204 (2015)، وإلى بيانات رئيسه المؤرخة 15 شباط/
فبراير 2013 و 29 آب/أغسطس 2014 و 22 آذار/مارس 2015، 

وإذ يحيط علما بالرسالة المؤرخة 24 آذار/مارس 2015 الموجهة من الممثل الدائم لليمن لدى الأمم المتحدة، التي يحيل بها رسالة من رئيس اليمن يبلغ فيها رئيس مجلس الأمن أنه ”قد طلب من مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربية وجامعة الدول العربية تقديم الدعم على الفور، بكل الوسائل والتدابير اللازمة، بما فيها التدخل العسكري، لحماية اليمن وشعبه من استمرار عدوان الحوثيين“، وإذ يشير إلى الرسالة المؤرخة 26 آذار/مارس 2015 الموجهة من الممثلة الدائمة لدولة قطر، S/2015/217، التي تحيل بها رسالة من ممثلي الإمارات العربية المتحدة ومملكة البحرين ودولة قطر ودولة الكويت والمملكة العربية السعودية،
وإذ يشير إلى قرار مؤتمر القمة السادس والعشرين لجامعة الدول العربية بشأن التطورات في اليمن، وإذ يؤكد في جملة أمور على ضرورة استئناف عملية الانتقال السياسي في اليمن بمشاركة جميع الأطراف اليمنية وفقا لمبادرة مجلس التعاون الخليجي وآلية تنفيذها ونتائج مؤتمر الحوار الوطني الشامل، 
وإذ يؤكد من جديد التزامه القوي بوحدة اليمن وسيادته واستقلاله وسلامته الإقليمية، والتزامه بالوقوف إلى جانب شعب اليمن،