UN stresses international law duty to protect peacekeepers in Israel censure text

[JURIST] The UN Security Council adopted a Presidential Statement [text] Thursday saying it was "deeply shocked and distressed" at an Israeli attack on a UNIFIL [official website] military observer post in Lebanon Tuesday that killed four observers [UNIFIL press release, PDF] from Austria, Canada, China and Finland, and stressed that "Israel and all concerned parties must comply fully with their obligations under the rules and principles of international humanitarian law related to the protection of the United Nations and its associated personnel." The statement, which also called for a full inquiry into the deaths, nonetheless fell short of a condemnation, prompting China to blame the US for having "watered down" the statement [recorded video]. Chinese UN Ambassador Wang Guangya [official profile] said that China's frustration at the situation would affect the "working relations" within the Council, beginning with ongoing talks among Council members on the Iranian nuclear situation.

Following a "growing number of deaths and injuries resulting from deliberate attacks against United Nations and associated personnel," international protections for UN personnel were recently codified in the 1994 Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel [text]. In January of this year the UN Staff Union reported [press release], however, that attacks against UN personnel "continued unabated" in 2005. UN News has more. CanWest has additional coverage.



 

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