European Union Election Observation Mission
El Salvador 2018

Ministerial Event: International Humanitarian Law - Enhancing Monitoring, Improving Compliance

14/09/2021 - 20:45
Conference/seminar

22 September 2021, New York - High Level Even on International Humanitarian Law

VIRTUAL Side Event at the United Nations General Assembly

International Humanitarian Law - Enhancing Monitoring, Improving Compliance

Co-chaired by the European Union, France and Germany

22 September 2021 13:30 EST

                                                                                                      

Violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) occur in many contemporary armed conflicts and often constitute strategic methods of warfare. Such violations have adverse consequences in particular on civilians, including on medical and humanitarian personnel, and on humanitarian action.

While initiatives exist to monitor incidents that could amount to violations of IHL with respect to specific protections (e.g. children in armed conflict, humanitarian workers or healthcare[1]) and while at times investigative bodies have been set up for specific contexts, the available data and analysis is partial, scattered and lacks a global overview. An independent and comprehensive data source on potential IHL violations would therefore strengthen the basis for advocacy, concrete and appropriate action and accountability.

The Humanitarian Call for Action launched by Germany and France in 2019 has since been endorsed by 51 signatories. It foresees to “Support efforts to collect and analyse information, improve prevention and ensure accountability. Support bilateral and/or multilateral efforts at systematic collection, analysis and documentation of facts on instances where harm to civilians and to humanitarian or medical personnel occurred in direct relation with an armed conflict, to build robust, scientific evidence to prevent repetition and adopt mitigating measures.”

Building on this, as well as the Security Council briefing of 16 July 2021 on the preservation of humanitarian space, the event will aim to:

  • Explore existing best practices and lessons learnt in monitoring violations of IHL.
  • Explore existing gaps in data collection and analysis of violations of IHL.
  • Explore possible avenues to strengthen independent data collection and analysis on violations of IHL, including by leveraging new technologies and civil society initiatives, to support an effective understanding by policy and decision makers and to promote adherence to and implementation of IHL
  • Consider ways in which the UN system can enhance monitoring of and compliance with IHL.
  • Explore the means that are at the disposal of Member States and other relevant stakeholders to promote compliance with IHL and ensure accountability, including examples of how they have done so.

Format

  • Duration: 75 minutes.
  • Welcome and first Opening remarks by the EU Co-chair, followed by Opening remarks by the France Co-chair.
  • Moderation by a professional moderator or an experienced humanitarian actor
  • Panel and keynote statement.
  • Interventions from the floor.
  • Closing remarks by Germany Co-chair.

The event will be translated and recorded.

 

Opening Remarks

Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, France

 

Keynote Speakers

Peter Maurer, ICRC, President

 

Jan Egeland, Secretary-General, Norwegian Refugee Council - NRC

Martin Griffiths, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

 

Annyssa Bellal, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law

Intervention from the floor

 

Closing remarks

DG Sibyllle K. Sorg on behalf of Heiko Maas, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs

 

Compilation of statements delivered at the event

The event will be moderated by a professional moderator and experienced humanitarian actor.

 

 


[1]      Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism on Children and Armed Conflict, the Monitoring and Reporting Arrangements on Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict, the Surveillance System of attacks of the World Health Organization, Aid Worker Security Database.

 

Background

In many contemporary armed conflicts, violations of International Humanitarian Law are widely reported, often as strategic methods of warfare. Such violations have adverse consequences on civilians, including on medical and humanitarian personnel, and thus on humanitarian action.

The lack of an independent and comprehensive data source on International Humanitarian Law violations weakens the possibility of strong advocacy by states and the international community as a whole. It also hinders fast and appropriate action to respond to violations and ensure accountability.

Following up on the Call for Action launched by Germany and France in 2019, and on the Security Council briefing of 16.7.21 on the preservation of humanitarian space, the event will explore existing best practices and lessons learnt and identify gaps in data collection and analysis in monitoring violations of International Humanitarian Law, explore possible avenues to strengthen independent data collection and analysis and consider ways in which the UN system can enhance monitoring of and compliance with International Humanitarian Law.

 

22/09/2021

YouTube
https://youtu.be/sHAcZvSKcZk

New York
United States of America

Linda.Gueye [at] eeas.europa.eu