Archbishop Gabriele Caccia Archbishop Gabriele Caccia 

Holy See urges effective protection of civilians in warzones

Addressing an open debate in New York on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations decries attacks on civilian infrastructure, use of indiscriminate weapons in populated areas and increased attacks on humanitarian personnel.

By Lisa Zengarini

The Holy See has reiterated its urgent call for the effective protection of those who face greater risks during conflict, including humanitarian personnel, healthcare workers, religious personnel, journalists, displaced persons, women, children, and persons with disabilities.

Speaking on Wednesday at an open debate of the Security Council Security in New York, marking the 25th anniversary of UN Resolution 1265,  the Vatican Permanent Observer to the organization, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, remarked that with the dramatic increase of conflicts around the world, the protection of civilians is more urgent than ever today.

No place is a safe haven for civilians in modern warfare

In his address Archbishop Caccia pointed to the fact that in modern warfare no place is now a safe haven for civilians: civilian infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and places of worship, have become “devastating targets, disproportionately affecting the lives of the innocent and defenceless.”

In this regard, the Vatican Observer called for the particular protection of places of worship in conflict zones, noting that these sites are not merely places of prayer, but also serve as places of assistance and protection for those in need.

Use of indiscriminate weapons in populated areas

Secondly, the Vatican Observer reiterated the Holy See’s repeated calls for the cessation of production, stockpiling, and use of indiscriminate weapons, such as landmines, cluster munitions and explosive weapons in populated areas. While commending the UN  Mine Action Service for its  work he urged the implementation of the Political Declaration on the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas.

Concern fro increased attacks on humanitarian personnel

Finally, Archbishop Caccia reaffirmed the Holy See’s firm condemnation of any attempt to obstruct the delivery of supplies like food, water, and medicine to those suffering from the impacts of war, as well as the indiscriminate attacks on humanitarian and medical personnel who put their lives in danger to help the population on the ground.



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23 May 2024, 14:26