Thank you, Mr. President,

Switzerland is honored to introduce a draft resolution aimed at strengthening the protection of those who protect: humanitarian and UN personnel. This resolution is therefore dedicated to you, the humanitarian and UN actors active throughout the world. You, who put your lives at risk every day to assist and protect civilians affected by armed conflict.   

We started from a very simple but worrying observation: the increase in violence and attacks against humanitarian and UN personnel not only endangers their lives, but also their efforts to protect these population. 

In 2023, more than 250 humanitarian workers paid the ultimate price, and hundreds were injured or deprived of their freedom worldwide. These figures, which represent the shattered destinies of many families, are shocking. They demand not only the urgent attention of this Council, but also its firm response. The Swiss draft resolution on which we will be voting in a few minutes' time reflects and responds to this urgency.

The draft resolution before you capitalizes on Resolution 2175, which the Council adopted ten years ago. We have updated it and given added emphasis to the protection of national and locally recruited personnel. They are the backbone of humanitarian assistance and protection and constitute the overwhelming majority - over 90% - of those affected.   

The draft resolution requires parties to conflicts to respect their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law. It recalls the obligations to respect and protect humanitarian and UN personnel, underlines its concern at the growing number of attacks on such personnel, and condemns all acts of violence.   

The draft also contributes to efforts to combat impunity and promote accountability. In particular, it urges all States to conduct prompt, impartial and effective investigations into violations of international humanitarian law committed against humanitarian and UN personnel, and to take action against those responsible for such violations.

The draft resolution also takes into account the new challenges facing humanitarian and UN personnel, such as disinformation. It requests the Secretary-General, within six months, to make recommendations on measures to prevent and better protect the personnel concerned, and to respond to attacks and acts of violence by holding the perpetrators accountable for these crimes. It also requests the Secretary-General to inform the Council on an annual basis. 

The obligation to respect and protect humanitarian and UN personnel is also incumbent on all UN member states, which is why we welcome the large number of co-sponsors and warmly thank them. Together, let's protect humanitarian and UN personnel, including national and locally recruited staff, and assume our responsibilities towards these civilians!

Mr. President,

We thank Council members for their interest and great commitment to this important issue. Several of them had already expressed this need at the end of last year, notably Brazil, to whom we are grateful for their initial work. We have therefore endeavored to meet their expectations as much as possible. The resolution also enjoys broad support outside the Council and among humanitarian actors, with whom we have maintained close coordination throughout this process. 

As we commemorate this year the 75th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions and the 25th anniversary of the protection of civilians on the Council's agenda, it is essential that this Council reaffirms its commitment to international humanitarian law. We therefore call on all Council members to support this draft resolution with one voice. 

I thank you.