UN urges to protect civilians caught in conflict

The United Nations has asked the international community to step up efforts to protect civilians caught in conflict. During a Security Council meeting on Tuesday, Secretary-General António Guterres presented a report underlining three ways governments can enhance action.

Last year, more than 26,000 civilians were killed or injured in six countries affected by conflict. The countries being : Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Somalia, and Yemen, a statement here said.

“The most effective way to protect civilians is to prevent conflicts and to end them,” Mr Guterres told the Council. “This is why conflict prevention, resolution and peace-building are, and will remain, the highest priorities for the whole United Nations system.”

The Secretary-General’s report first calls on governments to develop national policy frameworks to offer more protection for civilians caught up in fighting.

Countries are also asked to support efforts by the UN and others to engage with non-state armed groups to develop practical codes of conduct for them, and action plans that address civilian protection.

Mr Guterres said 17 groups have already signed action plans with the UN on ending child recruitment, adding that “we need more of these initiatives.”

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