Protection of civilians: Security Council Open Debate
On the "International Day of Child Soldiers", the Lithuanian Presidency of the Security Council organised an open debate on the Protection of civilians in armed conflict, thus also commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Security Council's engagement for the protection of civilians since the adoption of Resolution 1265 in 1999. At this debate, the Council adopted a presidential statement, with an attached updated Aide Memoire on the protection of civilians.
In her address, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg, first focused on the protection of civilians in the context of UN peacekeeping operations, by referencing the work of the Force intervention brigade established in MONUSCO in the DRC, the efforts of UNMISS in South Sudan, which is currently sheltering tens of thousands of civilians in its bases and the challenges faced by MINUSMA in Northern Mali.
Furthermore, Ambassador Lucas underlined that "the situation in the Central African Republic concerns all of us: we must all together support this wounded country and its populations, all of its populations." In this context, she recalled the European Union's decision to establish a military operation focusing on the protection of civilians in the area of Bangui.
Finally, referring to the need to protect civilians trapped by the war in Syria, Ambassador Lucas mentioned the joint initiative by Luxembourg, Australia and Jordan to present a draft resolution which calls upon the parties to the conflict to implement fully the provisions of the Presidential Statement f 2 October 2013 and to cease violations of international humanitarian law such as using starvation and sieges as weapons of war against civilians.