The devastating impacts of armed conflict on civilians – including deaths, injuries, and trauma; forced displacement; and damage to essential civilian infrastructure and services – often amount to humanitarian crises and reverberating effects which can endure decades after a conflict has ended. Responding calls by the UN to Member States, and at the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Crescent, are inspiring action to combat this devastating reality.
This event provided an opportunity to examine and strengthen national international humanitarian law (IHL) implementation in conflict contexts, drawing on concrete steps Member States, civil society, and international organizations are taking to make protection of civilians a national political priority spanning strategic, operational, and tactical planning and decision making. Participants learned from strategies to consolidate political will and participation in such national initiatives, including how these can be based on a shared interest of all parties to respect IHL and clear institutional authorities and responsibilities.
The event is part of an ongoing series of informal events exploring challenges and solutions to effective protection of civilians, which will continue through the 2022 “Protection of Civilians Week” in May. The event will include representatives from Member States, UN offices, international organizations, and civil society.