HIGH-LEVEL SIDE EVENT DURING UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Venue of Side Event changed to the larger ECOSOC Chamber to accomodate the many people who have registered to attend
Unabashed attacks on health care have been a defining feature of several recent armed conflicts. A recent review found “staggering” attacks in 23 countries in conflict, indicating widespread violation of international law. A Lancet-AUB Commission on Syria study, found that “the frequency and extent of targeting of health care is not known to have occurred in any previous war” and described ‘weaponization of health care’ (infographic below) as a strategy of war.
This practice has been so flagrant that it led the UN Security Council to adopt Resolution 2286 in May 2016 calling for an end to all attacks on civilian infrastructure health care and protection of health workers. However, target health care continued or intensified after the Resolution.
With the aim to advance international efforts, including those of the UN, to protect health care in conflict areas in follow-up to UNSC Resolution 2286, the Permanent Missions of Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom in collaboration with the Lancet-American University of Beirut Commission on Syria and Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition, are organizing a High-Level Side Event during the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
The 2-hour event, “Protecting Health Care in Armed Conflict”, held Friday 22 September 2017 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, in ECOSOC Chamber, UN Headquarters, brings together UN Member States, International NGOs, academics and experts to review:
- The global scale of attacks on health care and other health-related violations under international law in armed conflict
- The progress since UNSC Resolution 2286 including efforts of UN Member States, the UN and civil society internationally, to document, investigate, and respond to such violations
- Policy and practice options and next steps to be taken by UN Member States and the international community to advance protection of health workers in armed conflict