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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Germany –

Source: Federal Foreign Office (Speaking in English) It’s only been two weeks since we’ve commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising. In the last months of the Second World War, 200,000 innocent men and women – most of them civilians – were murdered by German soldiers. Warsaw was in ruins. It was crimes like this that prompted the international community to say, “Never again!” The Geneva Conventions were passed. And today they are one of the proudest achievements of humanity. We must never let the alternative – war without borders – be allowed again. The Geneva Conventions are the cornerstones of international humanitarian law. Their spirits are honored by the courageous women and men who devote their lives to saving others in humanitarian missions around the world. And while they are doing their jobs, we must ask ourselves: are we doing our work as well? Of course, humanitarian emergencies are now regularly on the agenda of the Security Council. More and more, the Security Council is reporting on it – by experts whose credibility is beyond any doubt, as is our present day Briefer. Thanks to them, attacks on humanitarian actors and violations of humanitarian law are clearly stated. But can we really speak of progress when there are more and more humanitarian crises, especially in the context of armed conflicts? What does it say about the Security Council? when we come together more and more often – but still more and more people die? Humanitarian law gets bogged down worldwide. And the complexity of modern warfare – with extremist groups and cross-border conflicts – brings with it new, deadly challenges. There are daily attacks on civilians, humanitarian workers and medical personnel. Hospitals and schools are targeted. Just recently, a hospital in the Syrian city of Kafranbel, backed by the federal government and its humanitarian partners, has been attacked twice. And that’s just one of many examples. We’re abandoning those most vulnerable. We do not live up to our legal and moral obligations. Mr Maurer, Peter, you once said that peace remains the explicit goal of neutral and impartial humanitarian action. And that this goal is highly political. I agree with them. Peace and security are threatened when thousands of people die. When tens of thousands fear for their lives. Ladies and gentlemen, if the most basic principles of humanity are in danger, this council must act. That is our duty. It may be that we often disagree about the political solutions to many of the world’s conflicts. This is the sad reality. But where it comes to protecting human life, we must overcome our differences! We have to live up to the principles that we agreed on 70 years ago. So let us hold to account those who attack humanitarian workers and violate the Geneva Conventions. Therefore, Germany supports organizations that document war crimes in Syria. The criminals need to know that their actions do not go unpunished Let us use our influence and ensure that all parties to the conflict fully respect humanitarian and humanitarian principles. The goal of humanitarian diplomacy must be to spread knowledge about international humanitarian law. Just as, for example, the German Armed Forces are already doing their training missions, as in Mali. And let us support those who negotiate humanitarian access on a daily basis. Their success depends on human lives. Institutions such as the Geneva-based Humanitarian Negotiations Center deserve our full support. Ladies and gentlemen, these are very concrete actions that we can take together. And today, not tomorrow. They are part of the “Humanitarian Call for Action” launched by Germany and France during their twin presidencies in the Security Council in March and April. Today’s meeting is an important step forward. We call on all Member States to join us, beginning with members of the Security Council. Ladies and gentlemen, we must never forget the lesson humanity had to learn 70 years ago. For those who witnessed the horrors of World War II, the Geneva Conventions were a sign of hope. And they are still today – if we finally implement them. Every step in this direction helps to save lives. It is our duty to fight for it. Thank you, Mr President.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure need be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI