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May 22, 2019

Statement | Response to United Nations Secretary-General annual protection of civilians report

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres published his annual report on the protection of civilians on May 7, 2019.
Humanity & Inclusion Advocacy Director, Anne Héry, provided this statement:

"In his report, the Secretary-General denounces the practice of bombing in urban areas and the disastrous consequences for civilians. As conflicts increasingly occur in urban areas, tens of thousands of people are killed or injured each year by such practices.

The UN secretary-General supports the draft international political declaration against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and calls on States to join this political process. The project of a political declaration has been strongly supported by Humanity & Inclusion for several years. We worked with a core group of 12 States, including Austria, Ireland, Mozambique, and Chile, as well as several NGOs to promote this process and contribute to its content.

Austria will host an international conference in October 2019 to raise awareness of the problem of explosive weapons in populated areas. We encourage all States to attend this conference and ensure that it paves the way towards the adoption of a strong political declaration against bombing in populated areas.