This year marks five years since the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted Resolution 2286 on the protection of medical care in armed conflict. Resolution 2286 condemned attacks on medical care and demanded that warring parties comply with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. It called on warring parties, and States more broadly, to develop effective measures to prevent and address attacks against medical care, including ending impunity for violations of the law.
As highlighted in the United Nations Secretary-General’s latest report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, five years on from the adoption of Resolution 2286, medical personnel, their transports and facilities continue to come under attack in conflicts around the world. Doctors, nurses and other medical personnel are threatened, abducted and killed. Ambulances, hospitals and clinics are damaged or destroyed; the sick and wounded are denied access to care, and force is used to interfere with healthcare and obstruct access. This has catastrophic long-term consequences as health services are interrupted, facilities close and workers flee, depriving communities of medical services. And all this against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic which continues to have a devastating impact on conflict-affected countries and overwhelm healthcare systems, many of which are already weak.
This virtual panel event will take stock of the current state of the protection of medical care in armed conflict. It will build upon discussions during this year’s Protection of Civilians Week (24-28 May), including the Security Council open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, in which protection of healthcare is expected to figure prominently.
Panelists will reflect on those diplomatic discussions; they will discuss what is next for parties to conflict, States, and other relevant actors in implementing the Secretary-General’s recommendations in his latest report; what priorities can or should be set by the world’s diplomats; how barriers to the implementation of resolution 2286 might be overcome; and the effects of ongoing insecurity on the way humanitarian actors deliver healthcare.
Hosted by McGill University’s Centre for International Peace and Security and the Max Bell School of Public Policy, the event will bring together practitioners and scholars involved in humanitarian healthcare delivery, protection of civilians, as well as government representatives.
- Agnes Coutou, ICRC Protection Coordinator
- Emily Scott, Post-doctoral Fellow, Centre for International Peace and Security Studies (McGill)
- Aurelien Buffler, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Chief of Policy Section, Operations and Advocacy Division
- Joe Belliveau, President, MSF Canada
- Leonard Rubenstein, Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition Chair; Professor and Director of the Program on Human Rights and Health in Conflict at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Prof Jennifer Welsh, Canada 150 Research Chair in Global Governance and Security; Director, Centre for International Peace and Security Studies (McGill)
- Simon Bagshaw, Research Affiliate, Centre for International Peace and Security Studies (McGill); on leave from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Date / Heure
Date(s) - 10 June 2021
11h30 - 13h00