United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, stated that the continuous treatment of hospitals and clinics as targets in conflict reflects the “grave disregard for international law and the protection of civilians.”
At a Security Council debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, Guterres explained that there has been minimal change since the adoption of Resolution 2286 – which calls on “States and all parties to armed conflict to develop effective measures to prevent and address acts of violence, attacks and threats against medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties.”
The World Health Organization reports that there are at least 20 countries in which medical facilities were attacked in 2016. One example includes Syria, where there have been more than 400 attacks on medical facilities since the start of the conflict.
Gueterres stressed several priorities moving forward, including the implementation of resolution 2286 and ensuring a greater respect for international humanitarian law and human rights law.
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