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) 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:
The event will be translated and recorded.
Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management
/file/eucssrjanezlenarcicihlhleunga7620210922pdf_enStatement by Commissioner Lenarcic
Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, France
/file/ministerfrancejean-yvesledrianihlhleunga7620210922pdf_enStatement by Minister Le Drian
Peter Maurer, ICRC, President
/file/presidentpetermaurericrcihlhleunga7620210922pdf_enStatement by ICRC President Maurer
Jan Egeland, Secretary-General, Norwegian Refugee Council - NRC
Martin Griffiths, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator
/file/usggriffithsochaihlhleunga7620210922pdf_enStatement by USG Griffiths.pdf
Annyssa Bellal, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law
/file/annyssabellalgenevaacademyihlhleunga7620210922pdf-1_enStatement by Dr. Bellal.pdf
Intervention from the floor
DG Sibyllle K. Sorg on behalf of Heiko Maas, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs
/file/dggermanysibylleksorgihlhleunga7620210922pdf_enStatement by DG Sorg
Compilation of statements delivered at the event
/file/compilationofstatementsunga76hleihl20210922pdf_enCompilation of statements delivered
The event will be moderated by a professional moderator and experienced humanitarian actor.
 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.
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.
Linda.Gueye [at] eeas.europa.eu