The annual report of the Secretary-General on the protection of civilians in armed conflict will focus, among others, on conflict-induced food insecurity and related challenges, such as the protection of critical civilian infrastructure and essential services. As President of the Security Council for the month of May 2023, Switzerland will hold a high-level open debate to discuss how to address these intertwined challenges.
The meeting will provide an opportunity for the Security Council and the wider membership to take stock of the implementation of Council resolution 2417 (2018) pertaining to conflict and hunger five years after its unanimous adoption. Given the grim situation of the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, the session will also look at the challenges related to the protection of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as those essential for food production and distribution, water and sanitation, energy and health care, and other related civilian infrastructure, and of essential service personnel, as envisaged by the Council in its resolution 2573 (2021).
Member States are thus invited to share their views on challenges and good practices, including preventive and preparedness measures on how to better ensure the survival, the security and the dignity of the civilian population in times of conflict. The open debate will also highlight concrete steps to ensure compliance with international humanitarian law by all parties to armed conflicts, and measures to be taken by the Security Council, Member States, the United Nations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and other actors.
The meeting will be held in the format of an open debate at the level of Heads of State and Government. It will be chaired by the President of the Swiss Confederation, Alain Berset.
Briefers • Secretary-General of the United Nations • President of the International Committee of the Red Cross • Civil society representative (tbc)