United Nations, NY, May 17 2022 – Center for Civilians in Conflict has joined 22 organizations in a joint statement to the UN Security Council, calling for immediate actions to address civilian harm and protect civilian lives in armed conflict, particularly in the context of urban warfare.

As the UN Security Council prepares to hold its annual open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict on May 25, 2022, more than 20 international NGOs are urging the UN Security Council, member states, and other entities within the UN system to take three concrete actions to prevent and mitigate civilian harm, and to ensure accountability and redress for civilian victims.

Today, civilians account for up to 87 percent of the casualties during war. At the same time, armed conflicts are increasingly fought in urban and populated areas, leading to further harm to civilian populations and civilian infrastructure.

“From Baghdad to Mogadishu, Marawi to Raqqa, and Marib to Mariupol, it is abundantly clear that civilians living in cities are at a heightened risk of harm during and after conflict,” reads the joint statement.

Additionally, civilian harm resulting from armed conflict is exacerbated by the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects, which are not designed to be used in urban and populated areas, notes the joint statement.

Read full statement and three key recommendations here.