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Monday, November 2, 2015

UN, ICRC Leadership name crimes; Call for humanity, diplomacy, nonviolence, law

Matters of Urgency: Leaders spoke to the press after speaking together “about [their] grave concerns over the brazen and brutal erosion of respect for international humanitarian law.”

U
nited Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s press encounter with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer (Transcript)
Off-the-Cuff on 31 October 2015, Geneva, Switzerland [Excerpt by Carolyn Bennett]
Signed
June 26, 1945


CRIMES against Civilians

“… [D]eliberate targeting of civilians and civilian areas is a clear breach of international law.…. There is no military solution to the crisis – not in Syria or anywhere else.…

“Every day, civilians – ordinary women, men and children – are being deliberately or recklessly injured and killed, tortured and abducted. 

“Every hour, people in dire circumstances are being denied the medical care, food, water and shelter they need to survive.

Healthcare facilities have special protected status under international humanitarian law.

Yet the hospital attacked earlier this week in Saada, Yemen, was the 39th health centre to be hit since March. More children in Yemen may die from a lack of medicines and healthcare than from bullets and bombs. 


“The bombing of the Médecins Sans Frontières [Doctor without Borders] hospital earlier this month in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was yet another tragedy – a so-called surgical strike that instead destroyed a surgical ward.

“These violations have become so routine there is a risk people will think that the deliberate bombing of civilians, the targeting of humanitarian and healthcare workers, and attacks on schools, hospitals and places of worship are an inevitable result of conflict.”


CRIMES against healers, helpers, civilians, the sick and wounded
 

“We are deeply concerned about the disrespect of International Humanitarian Law; and in particular, the response from countries involved.…I have been urging them (the United States and other countries) to have thorough, independent, credible investigation.

“Whether this could be referred to independent, international inquiry—that is the prerogative of the Member States of the United Nations. I would support any such investigation—thorough and independent and credible investigation, so that there will be no such repetition of harming doctors and nurses and medical workers; and mostly patients and civilian populations.”

 
APPEALS

Not for Charity but HUMANITY, nonviolence

“We call on all those with influence to pressure all parties in conflict to treat civilians with humanity and to abide by the law. 

“This means political and diplomatic measures, and referrals to national and special investigative tribunals or courts.

“We urge an end to the use of heavy explosive weapons in densely populated urban areas, which overwhelmingly kill civilians.
 
Signed
June 26, 1945
… Protecting civilians in wartime is a cornerstone of the international system and the United Nations. 

“Indifference will only make our world less secure. The continued failure to act is a disgrace and a stain on the conscience of the world.…


“We call for respect for humanitarian access, so that people can reach the aid they need, and so that humanitarians can deliver that aid.”


 Not above but Under LAW

Today, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross are calling for an end to impunity, an end to the callous disregard for human life, and a re-commitment to international humanitarian law.…

 “International humanitarian law is being flouted on a global scale. The international community is failing to hold perpetrators to account.

Abiding by the law “… means political and diplomatic measures, and referrals to national and special investigative tribunals or courts.”

  
Source

Office of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Off-the-Cuff on October 31, 2015, Geneva, Switzerland: Transcript of the Secretary-General’s press encounter with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (includes Q&A), http://www.un.org/sg/offthecuff/index.asp?cuff=1

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A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

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