‘Unconscionable’ to kill aid workers, civilians: UN Emergency Coordinator

UNICEF/Alessio Romenzi
A girl, carrying jerrycans of water, walks past a pile of debris, on a street in Aleppo, Syria.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Remembering all the humanitarians killed in the line of duty just ahead of World Humanitarian Day, the United Nations relief chief on Friday, renewed the call for civilians and aid workers everywhere to be better protected.

Each year on 19 August, the world pays tribute to the humanitarians who deliver aid to vulnerable communities in some of the most dangerous crises on the planet; some of whom make the ultimate sacrifice.

“It is unconscionable that civilians and the aid workers who are trying to help them are killed and maimed in conflict zones with utter impunity,” said Mark Lowcock, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and Humanitarian Affairs chief.

This year, the Day also marks the fifteenth anniversary of the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, which took the lives of 22 staff and other civilians.

Overall last year, 139 aid workers were killed, 102 wounded and 72 kidnapped in the line of duty, marking the fifth consecutive year in which more than 100 humanitarians lost their lives on the job. Moreover, it is the highest recorded annual death toll since 2013, when 156 humanitarians were killed.

Also in 2017, of the 42,972 people reportedly killed or injured by explosive weapons, three out of every four victims were civilians – a 38 per cent increase on the previous year.

“We need this to end,” Mr. Lowcock stressed.

Secretary-General António Guterres noted in his Protection of Civilians report published in May, that attacks in just six conflict-affected countries were responsible for more than 26,000 civilian deaths or injuries, emphasizing that to reverse such high numbers of civilian casualties, required sustained advocacy.

In addition to ensuring safe, unimpeded passage of supplies, Governments and non-State military groups are legally obligated to protect civilians and aid workers in armed conflicts.

“It is imperative that we hold men with guns and power accountable when civilians and aid workers are illegally targeted,” Mr. Lowcock argued.

UNICEF/Kate Holt
Two unaccompanied girls who became separated from their parents during fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, sit with workers from Save the Children UK at a UNICEF-assisted child reunification centre near Goma.

3-D portraits of solidarity

For World Humanitarian Day last year, more than two million people around the world participated in an online #NotATarget campaign, to push for change by telling stories of civilians in war and conflict areas.

Building on that success, this year the UN and humanitarian partners have launched a ‘living petition,’ calling on world leaders to better protect civilians and aid workers.

Global citizens are asked to ‘sign’ the petition with their selfies through a custom website that transforms their two-dimension photos into 3-D portraits of solidarity.

Their faces are part of an installation at UN Headquarters, and will remain in place throughout the General Assembly, which begins on 18 September.

“The thousands of faces that make up the living petition will be on display to remind world leaders of their legal obligation to protect civilians in conflict,” Mr. Lowcock said.

In 2008, the General Assembly designated 19 August as World Humanitarian Day to raise awareness of humanitarian assistance and pay tribute to the people who risk their lives to provide it.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN agencies call for more resettlement and end to detention of asylum seekers in Libya

6th Edition of India m2m + iot Forum to open its door on 14th January, in association with The European Sting

Top UN political official updates Security Council on Iran nuclear deal

Mozambique cyclones a ‘wake-up call’ to boost resistance: UN weather agency

MEPs and European Youth Forum call on EU to Invest in Youth

Ebola Outbreak in Democratic Republic Congo is ‘largely contained’: WHO

Security Council urges countries to factor child protection into conflict prevention efforts

“Asia-Pacific takes stock of ambitious development targets”, written by the Heads of UNFPA and ESCAP

‘We are nowhere closer’ to Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, than a year ago, Security Council hears

How populist and xenophobic movements in the EU tear apart European businesses and startups

Eurozone stuck in a high risk deflation area; Draghi expects further price plunge

A third of world’s out-of-school youth live in conflict, disaster-affected countries: UNICEF report

CHALLENGING THE ZEITGEIST OF DIGITAL – Change making projects innovate mobile support for refugees, inclusive environments, early breast cancer detection and more

From glass ceiling to glass cliff: women are not a leadership quick-fix

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: mental health, conflict prevention, Ebola in Uganda, Sudan protests, child labour

Hundreds of wounded Gaza protesters risk limb amputation without immediate help, warns top UN official

New York high school students are getting free water bottles to cut plastic waste

Gender disparity in salary and promotion in medicine: still a long way to go

New Report Offers Global Outlook on Efforts to Beat Plastic Pollution

Winter 2019 Economic Forecast: growth moderates amid global uncertainties

MEPs urge the EU to lead the way to net-zero emissions by 2050

This new way of understanding disease is changing medicine

JADE Handover Ceremony at the European Parliement

Service Engineer Intern – 1991

Berlin wants to break South’s politico-economic standing

Sudan: UN chief deplores excessive force used against pro-democracy protesters, calls on military and civilian leaders to ‘stay the course’ in negotiations

Press conference by EC Vice-Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis (left) and Jyrki Katainen, on the Commission's proposals in the framework of the financial union (Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: EU, 2018 / Photo by Georges Boulougouris)

EU Finance ministers agree on new banking capital rules and move closer to Banking Union

‘The clock is ticking’ on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, says UN deputy chief

UN chief urges Somalis not to be ‘deterred’ by latest deadly terror attack

Better ID card security to curb document fraud

Four lessons from Africa on building effective business ecosystems

The importance of exchanges for the medical students of the world

Q and A on the draft digital copyright directive

The European Parliament wants to stay in one place

The Brussels bureaucracy blocks the Youth Guarantee scheme

An expert in the South China Sea issue on an exclusive interview at the European Sting

How smartphones can close the global skills gap for billions

Here are 4 ways investors can influence more secure and responsible innovation

Our children’s career aspirations have nothing in common with the jobs of the future

Populist Eurosceptics helped by Trumpists seriously threaten the EU edifice

EP President praises Nobel Peace Prize award to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad

These are the world’s 20 most dynamic cities

Reflections on the the biggest refugee crisis since World War II

Companies have a new skill to master – innovation

Terrorist content online should be removed within one hour, says EP

More needs to be done to bridge the digital gender divide

Trump rejects Europe’s offer for zero car tariffs; he had personally tabled that idea in July

Khashoggi murder trials must public and meet international standards, UN expert urges

Medschool 4.0: how to succeed in the smart revolution of healthcare

EU sets ambitious targets for the Warsaw climate conference

Antibiotics are contaminating the world’s rivers

FROM THE FIELD: Liberia boosts efforts to guard against rising seas

Amsterdam is getting a 3D-printed bridge

EU Parliament: ECB accountable for not supporting real economy

FROM THE FIELD: Stopping aquatic hitchhikers to safeguard environments at sea

A skills gap is jeopardizing efforts to end energy poverty

Migration crisis, a human crisis after all

Parallel downfalls of Merkel and Deutsche Bank threaten Germany and Europe

5G mobile is nearly here – but we should share networks to make it affordable

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s