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Security Council Denounces Attacks Against Aid Workers, UN Personnel

The United Nations Security Council on Friday strongly condemned rising attacks on humanitarian workers and UN personnel, urging all conflict parties to ensure their safety and access.

Adopting resolution 2730 (2024) with 14 votes in favour and one abstention (Russia), the Security Council also denounced disinformation, information manipulation and incitement to violence against humanitarian and UN personnel.

Led by Switzerland and co-sponsored by over 90 nations, the resolution noted “deep concern” about the particular vulnerability of national and locally recruited personnel who account for the majority of safety and security incidents.

The 15-member Council emphasized the need for “concerted efforts and concrete risk mitigation strategies” to enhance the safety and security of these workers.

It called on all parties to armed conflict to “end immediately and definitively” any indiscriminate use of explosive devices in violation of international humanitarian law, and to mitigate these dangers effectively, including through their clearance.

Hostilities against humanitarians

Recent conflicts have seen a sharp uptick in attacks against humanitarians.

According to a UN report on protection of civilians, issued earlier this month, 91 aid workers were killed, 120 wounded and 53 abducted in 2023 – not including incidents in the occupied Palestinian territory.

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The war in Gaza alone has claimed the lives of over 224 humanitarians, including over 190 UNRWA (the UN agency assisting Palestine refugees) and other UN agencies’ personnel.

National staff constituted the vast majority – over 90 per cent – of those affected in Gaza and other crises.

Address disinformation

The Security Council also condemned disinformation, information manipulation, and incitement to violence against aid workers and UN personnel.

It encouraged Member States and the UN system “to take appropriate action to address the increasing threat of disinformation campaigns and misinformation that undermine trust in UN and humanitarian organizations”, put personnel at risk and hinder humanitarian activities.

Additionally, it urged States to conduct full, prompt, independent, impartial and effective investigations within their jurisdiction of violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law committed against aid workers and UN and associated personnel.

Prompt reporting

The resolution requested the Secretary-General to “report swiftly” on widespread issues regarding the safety and security of humanitarians and UN personnel, their premises, and assets.

The Council expressed its intention to give full attention to such information when these situations are brought to its attention.

West Africa and the Sahel

Also on Friday, the Security Council adopted a presidential statement acknowledging the challenging security situation in West Africa and the Sahel, including armed conflicts, the spread of terrorism and violent extremism, and transnational organized crime.

The Council expressed deep concern over the intensification of intercommunal violence, particularly in the central Sahel, and increased tensions and conflicts between farmers and herders in the region.

It also recognized the effects of climate change, ecological changes, natural disasters, and their impact on food security, society, the economy, and regional stability.

Security Council presidential statements

Presidential statements are issued by the President of the Security Council on behalf of its members.

The statements are adopted at a formal meeting and issued as an official document of the UN’s primary body on international peace and security.

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