Conflictos armados

“Poner término al empleo de armas explosivas pesadas en zonas habitadas.” ONU y CICR

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 6.16.30 PM(Ginebra, 31 de octubre de 2015) El secretario general de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU), Ban Ki-moon, y el presidente del Comité Internacional de la Cruz Roja (CICR), Peter Maurer, formularon una advertencia sin precedentes sobre el impacto que los conflictos actuales tienen en los civiles e instaron a que se tomen medidas urgentes y concretas para abordar el sufrimiento y la inseguridad.

Ambos dirigentes subrayaron la importancia de respetar el derecho internacional humanitario a fin de contener el caos y de evitar mayor inestabilidad.

Instaron a los Estados a que adopten las siguientes medidas en forma urgente:

  • redoblar los esfuerzos para hallar soluciones sostenibles a los conflictos y adoptar medidas concretas con ese fin;
  • utilizar, individual y colectivamente, todos los medios posibles para ejercer influencia en las partes en conflictos armados a fin de que respeten el derecho; por ejemplo, realizar investigaciones efectivas sobre las infracciones del derecho internacional humanitario, responsabilizar a los autores de las infracciones y poner en práctica mecanismos concretos para mejorar el cumplimiento del derecho;
  • condenar a los autores de violaciones graves del derecho internacional humanitario, como los ataques deliberados contra civiles e infraestructura civil;
  • garantizar el acceso sin obstáculos de las misiones médicas y humanitarias, y proteger al personal y los establecimientos médicos y humanitarios;
  • prestar protección y asistencia a las personas desplazadas en el interior de un país y a los refugiados mientras huyen de la inseguridad, así como ayudarles a encontrar soluciones de largo plazo, brindando apoyo al mismo tiempo a los países y las comunidades de acogida;
  • poner término al empleo de armas explosivas pesadas en zonas habitadas.

    “Rara vez hemos visto tanta personas desplazándose, tanta inestabilidad, tanto sufrimiento”, dijo el señor Maurer. “En los conflictos armados que tienen lugar en Afganistán, Irak, Nigeria, Sudán del Sur, Siria, Yemen y otras partes, los combatientes infringen las normas de humanidad más fundamentales. Cada día nos enteramos de casos de civiles que mueren o resultan heridos como resultado de la violación de las normas básicas del derecho internacional humanitario con total impunidad. La inestabilidad se extiende y el sufrimiento aumenta. Ningún país puede permanecer ajeno a esta situación.”

Unos sesenta millones de personas en todo el mundo han tenido que desplazarse de sus hogares a raíz de conflictos y de violencia; se trata de la cifra más alta desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Los conflictos se han vuelto más prolongados, lo que significa que numerosas personas desplazadas pasan años alejadas de sus hogares, sus comunidades y sus medios de sustento.

“Ante esta flagrante inhumanidad, el mundo ha respondido con una parálisis preocupante”, dijo el secretario general de la ONU. “Esa actitud contradice la mera razón de ser de las Naciones Unidas. El mundo debe reafirmar su humanidad y respetar los compromisos asumidos en virtud del derecho internacional humanitario. Hoy hablamos con una sola voz para instar a todos los Estados a adoptar medidas inmediatas y concretas que permitan aliviar el sufrimiento de los civiles.”

Ambos dirigentes subrayaron que la ONU y el CICR ocupan un lugar único como testigos de las consecuencias de los conflictos. El principio de humanidad es un elemento central de la Carta de las Naciones Unidas y del cometido y la misión del CICR.

La XXXII Conferencia Internacional de la Cruz Roja y de la Media Luna Roja, que se celebrará en diciembre de 2015, y la Cumbre Humanitaria Mundial, que tendrá lugar en mayo de 2016, harán hincapié en la urgencia de adoptar medidas concretas para proteger a los civiles en los conflictos armados.

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Remarks by Mr. Peter Maurer
President of the International Committee of the Red Cross
with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

31 October 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

Secretary General,
Ladies and gentleman

I came just back this morning from Mogadishu, Somalia; I could have come back from Afghanistan, Syria, or Yemen, from the Sudans or the Lake Chad region and from many other places. The message would have been the same: Now, more than ever, the respective foundations of our two organisations, international humanitarian law, the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the UN Charter need strong reaffirmation by the international community.

This is why today, for the very first time, we are coming together, to jointly appeal to States and other actors engaged in armed conflict to respect and protect the principle of humanity.

This decision mirrors a deep concern in both institutions to which we wish to draw the attention of political leaders: we have entered a new era, and it is not a peaceful one.

It is an era of protracted armed conflicts, which add up to a world at war.
The causes are complex. The consequences are far-reaching. The humanitarian implications are massive.

It is an era in which the international community too often tacitly accepts as a given the harmful impact of war on people. This is both morally unacceptable and in contradiction with century-old laws and principles.

If States, other actors in conflict, and the international community as a whole do not act responsibly now, there will be millions more victims. Acting responsibly means redoubling efforts to achieve political solutions and, pending such achievements, ensuring that humanitarian principles and law are respected.

Today, armed conflicts are tearing apart vast parts of the world. Millions of people are exposed to violence and live with less than adequate water, food, shelter and health services. Millions of children are out of school. Hospitals are being attacked, patients, doctors, nurses and humanitarian workers killed. Displacement due to fighting and violence is chronic, attaining unprecedented levels. This is not acceptable.

International humanitarian law establishes limits in war. Wars without limits are wars without end. And wars without end mean endless suffering.

With the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence applied, humanitarian workers can operate in even the most tense, dangerous and volatile theatres of war.

We work for the protection of civilians from the impact of weapons and for the humane treatment of detainees. We assist communities by providing water, food, shelter and health care. And we do so, protected by law and principles. When humanitarian law and principles are disregarded, when humanitarian needs are trumped by political agendas, when access to the wounded and sick is denied, and when security concerns lead to a suspension of operations, people are abandoned, the notion of protection loses its meaning, and humanity is flouted.

We ask that States reaffirm our shared humanity by concrete action and uphold their responsibility to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law.

We ask that States and non-State armed groups protect civilians in armed conflict by respecting the principles of distinction, precaution and proportionality and by condemning the use of illegal weapons and weapons’ illegal use, notably in densely populated areas. Starvation, rape and other forms of sexual violence, summary executions, as well as inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees must stop.

We ask that States and non-State armed groups protect health-care facilities and workers, as specifically enshrined in international humanitarian law.

We ask that States and non-State armed groups recognize the humanitarian principles that guide the ICRC’s activities, in particular the necessity to engage with all parties to a conflict.

We ask that States and non-State armed groups to facilitate, not hinder, the delivery of humanitarian assistance and protection activities.

In the midst of conflict, humanity is too often abandoned.

But in the midst of conflict, there is also hope, immense compassion and solidarity, which makes it possible to imagine and work towards a different era.

Seventy years since the United Nations was founded to maintain international peace and security, fifty years since the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement were adopted, the world is at a turning point.

In five weeks’ time, the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent will bring together representatives of 196 States in Geneva for three days around a vibrant and forward-looking agenda. A couple of months later, the World Humanitarian Summit will meet in Istanbul. These will represent unique opportunities for States to translating international humanitarian law and the Fundamental Principles into meaningful action and to renew a contract for humanity that will benefit millions of people affected by armed conflict worldwide.

Thank you.

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