Civilians still need more protection from effects of armed conflict worldwide: UN official

09:12, July 08, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

In spite of the UN's progress on creating more institutional frameworks designed to handle the problems faced by civilians in armed conflict worldwide, the realities of life during wartime continue to be harsh, John Holmes, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and UN emergency relief coordinator, said on Wednesday.

Holmes made the statement while briefing the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. He also discussed difficulties that civilians face on the ground from Chad and Somalia to Pakistan and Gaza.

He praised the Security Council's "important role in expanding the weight of international jurisprudence" on several issues that impact people living in war-torn areas like the protection of women and children, and the displacement of populations.

"Nevertheless I fear all too little has changed for the better on the ground in recent years," said Holmes. "Civilians account for the vast majority of casualties in armed conflict, especially the internal conflicts which are now the norm. They are increasingly targeted by combatants and armed elements."

Holmes acknowledged some of the important steps the UN has taken in the past few years to alleviate the problems of violence against civilians and the displacement of civilians from their homes. These include the appointment of a special representative to the secretary-general on sexual violence in conflict, a special representative for children and armed conflict, and an informal group on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.
【1】 【2】


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • On Sept. 28, tourists travel around the Mingshashan Scenic Area in Dunhuang, Gansu province by camel. With the National Day vacation right around the corner, more and more tourists from home and abroad are going to Dunhuang. Riding on a camel, they travel in the desert to enjoy the cities rare form of natural scenery. (Xinhua/Zhang Weixian)
  • Chinese forest armed forces work together with forest firefighters on Sept. 28. (Xinhua/Chai Liren)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows strong wind blows trees in Sanya, south China's Hainan Province. Typhoon Nesat heads towards south China and is moving at an average wind speed of 20 km per hour toward the west coast of China's Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Hou Jiansen)
  • A fallen tree is seen on a road in Qionghai, south China's Hainan Province, Sept. 29, 2011. Typhoon Nesat was predicted to land in Hainan later Thursday, bringing heavy rainfalls to the island. (Xinhua/Meng Zhongde)
  • Arash Kamalvand (L) of Iran spikes the ball during the semifinal against South Korea at the 16th Asian Men's Volleyball Championship in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 28, 2011. Iran won 3-1 to advance to the final. (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)
  • A man visits "Thy Word Is Truth, the Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Protestant Church in China", during its opening at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church in Washington DC, capital of the United States, Sept. 28, 2011. Through the Bible's various Chinese versions, ancient or modern, as well as pictures, paintings, calligraphy, art works and historical documents, the exhibition was expected to give an overall understanding of how Bible was brought into China, how it was translated, published, distributed and loved. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)
Hot Forum Discussion