UN Security Council considers draft on protection of hospitals

The UN Security Council is expected to vote next week on a resolution condemning attacks on medical facilities and demanding the protection of medical personnel and hospitals, said Gerard van Bohemen, New Zealand's UN ambassador, on Thursday.

The resolution drafted by New Zealand comes in response to recent attacks on hospitals in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and Afghanistan. Targeting medical facilities is a violation of international humanitarian law.

The draft resolution, seen by dpa, "strongly condemns" attacks against "the wounded and sick, medical personnel and humanitarian personnel." It demands that all parties protect hospitals and medical personnel and facilitate their unimpeded passage.

Van Bohemen said that the resolution, which is being co-sponsored by Spain, Egypt, Japan and Uruguay, does not create new obligations but merely reiterates existing legal requirements.

"We're not adding anything new in a legal sense," van Bohemen said.

"But we are trying to shine a spotlight on this issue because it's clearly a fundamental problem in the way in which modern warfare is being conducted in these horrible situations."

Diplomats said that the vote is expected to be held next Tuesday.

Last update: Fri, 29/04/2016 - 01:59

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