Blog: Time to move beyond the rhetoric of protecting civilians in conflict
TitleBlog: Time to move beyond the rhetoric of protecting civilians in conflict
Sixteen families live in this abandoned school in Binish, Idleb Governorate, Syria. Credit: OCHA
By Simon Bagshaw, OCHA Senior Policy Advisor
In his annual protection report to the United Nations Security Council, released this month, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has issued a clear call to parties to conflict and States: move beyond the rhetoric and make the protection of civilians a reality for the millions of people affected by armed conflict. And with good cause. As reported by The New York Times and others, Guterres warns that the current COVID-19 pandemic may create “incentives for some parties to conflict to press for an advantage, leading to an increase in violence, while others may see opportunities because the attention of governments and the international community is absorbed by the health crisis”.