Jan 26, 2022, 12:08 AM
Journalist ID: 1316
News Code: 84626774
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Iran envoy to UN criticizes systematic violation of human rights in Yemen

New York, IRNA - Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi strongly criticized the systematic and serious violation of human rights in Yemen.

Takht Ravanchi made the remarks before the United Nations Security Council meeting on “Wars in cities: protection of civilians in urban settings” on Tuesday.

"I thank Norway for having organized this important meeting. I also thank all briefers for their insightful briefings.
The urban warfare has devastating consequences on civilians and critical infrastructures as we witness growing attacks against civilians and civilian objects," the Iranian ambassador said. 

The UN report on the protection of civilians in 2021 indicates that armed conflicts continue to be characterized by high number of civilian deaths, injuries, displaced persons, disappearances, as well as damaged and destroyed homes, schools, hospitals, and civilian infrastructures. 

The protection of civilians in urban settings requires a comprehensive approach to prognosticate and mitigate such risks and sufferings.

Every effort must be made to ensure that international humanitarian law is respected, and that civilians and civilian objects are protected regardless of the theatre of combat.

To this end, the role of the UN in compelling parties to a conflict to adhere to their obligations and respect International humanitarian law is more vital than ever.

In addition, States need to do much more to ensure compliance with international humanitarian law. 

States also need to fulfill their obligations under international law to prevent conflicts and resolve them through peaceful means. 

We share the view that sustainable political solutions remain the only way to ensure that civilians are kept safe from harm and suffering.

The 1949 Geneva Conventions and additional protocols constitute the cornerstone of the legal framework for the protection of civilians and those who do not take part in hostilities. 

Furthermore, in its advisory opinion in 1996 on "Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons”, the International Court of Justice has laid emphasis on two cardinal principles of IHL, namely, the distinction between combatants and non-combatants and the prohibition of unnecessary sufferings.

The Court has stated clearly that States must never make civilians the object of attacks and consequently must never use weapons that are incapable of distinguishing between civilian and military targets. Also, unnecessary sufferings should not be caused to combatants and in this regard, States do not have unlimited freedom of choice in the weapons they use. 

Despite legally binding rules of IHL, the serious challenge that the international community is facing today is non – compliance of the parties to a conflict to such rules and equally important is the inaction of the Security Council in the face of serious violations of IHL. 

It is regrettable and alarming that in Middle East, the implementation of international humanitarian law is being seriously violated. 

The most serious violation of IHL is the decades-long systematic inhumane and apartheid policies and practices of the Israeli regime in the Occupied Palestinian Territory that include a range of brutalities, such as deliberate, systematic, and massive killing of civilians, including women and children, seizure and demolition of homes and confiscation of lands and properties of the Palestinians and their forceful eviction and the blockade of the Gaza Strip. 

Similarly, in Yemen, the systematic and serious breaches of IHL have caused the widespread and deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructures, targeted killings of civilians, including women and children, and strict unlawful blockades of civilian ports and airports, resulting in severe suffering of civilians, deterioration of humanitarian situation and continued disregard for the most basic principles of international humanitarian law.

It is the responsibility of the Security Council to ensure the protection of civilians, compel the violators of IHL to put an immediate end to such flagrant violations and to hold them accountable for their wrongdoings.

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