International humanitarian law – Unanimous adoption of resolution 2286 on the protection of medical personnel and facilities in conflict situations – Reminder of the statement issued by the minister of foreign affairs and international development (May 3, 2016)

I welcome the unanimous adoption by the UN Security Council of resolution 2286 on the protection of medical personnel and facilities in conflict situations.

France actively contributed to the drafting of this text, which strongly condemns attacks against medical personnel.

The number of attacks against hospitals has increased over the last few years in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and Afghanistan. According to the World Health Organization, 654 medical personnel have been killed in Syria since the start of the war. A few days ago in Aleppo, one of the city’s last pediatricians was killed in a bombing raid deliberately targeted against a hospital, which killed more than 20 people, including patients.

The Geneva Conventions signed in 1949 prohibit the targeting of medical personnel and hospitals. These violations of international humanitarian law, which may constitute war crimes, are unacceptable and must not go unpunished.

On this occasion, I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding courage and dedication of medical personnel and humanitarian workers who risk their lives to help the sick and injured.