A Call for action to bolster respect for international humanitarian law



The Call for Humanitarian Action launched by France and Germany on 1 April 2019 in New York during the joint Security Council presidency aims to mobilize United Nations Member States to effectively implement and strengthen international humanitarian law, particularly as regards the protection of humanitarian workers and healthcare personnel.

The Call for Action focuses on the following objectives:

  • Implementing existing law on the ground, particularly Security Council Resolution 2286 of 3 May 2016 on the protection of healthcare personnel, by the largest number of States possible, following on from the call launched by the political declaration of 31 October 2017, put forward by France. The aim, for example, is to include protection of humanitarian and healthcare workers from the planning stage of military operations;
  • Training of State actors (partner armed forces) and non-State actors (NGO, non-State armed groups) in international humanitarian law. The aim is to promote exchange of best practices, for example, in protecting civilian infrastructure, particularly hospitals;
  • Taking into account the concerns of humanitarian actors when drawing up anti-terrorist sanctions and legislation, in order to preserve a margin for humanitarian action on the ground. This was done for Security Council Resolution 2462 of 28 March 2019 regarding the fight against terrorist financing;
  • Bolstering the documentation on violations of international humanitarian law and the fight against impunity, supporting efforts to collect and analyse information, improving prevention and guaranteeing accountability reporting at the level of the United Nations and at national level.

The Call for Action was formally presented as part of the Alliance for Multilateralism during an event on 26 September 2019 and was opened for signature by all.

Support as of 20 September 2019

In addition to France and Germany, 26 States have already endorsed this Call for Humanitarian Action.

Next steps

Monitoring the actions taken by Signatory States within the framework of the Call for Action could take the form of specific meetings on certain themes (for example: discussions on best practices for the protection of populations and civilian infrastructure during military operations, and preserving humanitarian space)

Detailed list of participating countries (as of 20 September 2019)

Andorra, Bulgaria, CAR, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Honduras, Ireland, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, New Zealand, Poland, Paraguay, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Uruguay.