1st LD: Chinese UN envoy urges countries to fulfill obligations under int'l humanitarian law

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 14, 2019
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UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Tuesday called on the governments concerned and parties to the conflict to earnestly fulfill their obligations under the international humanitarian law (IHL).

At a UN Security Council meeting on the promotion and strengthening of the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security, Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun said that the Geneva Conventions and additional protocols are "shining principles of humanity" which received universal support from all countries.

At present, the international security situation remains grave and fraught with new dynamics, and traditional and non-traditional security threats are intertwined, said Zhang. "Armed conflicts in some regions have protracted or even escalated, causing serious concerns to the international community."

"Promoting peaceful settlement of disputes through dialogue, approaching IHL and carrying forward the international humanitarian spirit are of great significance," he said.

Governments in all circumstances bear the primary responsibility to comply with IHL and this role is irreplaceable, said Zhang, adding that in situations where conflicts are inevitable, the principles of IHL should be upheld to prevent the indiscriminate use of force or acts that disregard humanitarian consequences.

Any violation of IHL should be investigated and punished according to law, he added.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, which regulate the conduct of armed conflict and are considered the cornerstone of international humanitarian law.

The international community should play a constructive role in helping the relevant parties to strengthen capacity building in implementing their obligations under IHL, Zhang said.

Humanitarian agencies, on the basis of full respect for sovereignty of the countries concerned, should engage in training, legal consultancy, technical support, and experience sharing to ensure the effective implementation of the principles of IHL, he added.

Zhang said the implementation of IHL should be strengthened with the focus on enhancing the effectiveness of the existing mechanisms.

According to the Chinese envoy, the continuous development of cyber technologies, AI and high-tech weapons, frequent occurrences of non-international armed conflicts and terrorist attacks pose challenges to the implementation of IHL.

The international community should proceed from the practical needs of applying to and complying with IHL, build on the consensus of countries, and reach a broad agreement on addressing current challenges and strengthening the implementation of IHL, the Chinese ambassador said. Enditem

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