Sunday, 22 September 2019 01:26 GMT

Kuwait- OCHA official says UNSC resolution on missing persons in war ambitious

(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) NEW YORK, June 11 (KUNA) -- Director of Operations and Advocacy for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Reena Ghelani described on Tuesday a draft resolution, submitted by Kuwait and approved by the UN Security Council (UNSC), as "ambitious".
This came in a UNSC session chaired by Kuwait's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah on the missing persons in the armed conflict.
Ghelani recommended parties to conflicts to benefit from support provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other bodies to establish required legal and political frameworks.
Enhancing the role and capabilities of relevant international, regional and national mechanisms to provide consultation and support to the member states will be an essential matter, mainly the resolution stressed the commitment of the conflicting parties to preventing persons from going missing and clarifying their fate if they do go missing, she said.
There are alarming numbers of persons go missing in armed conflicts, she said, adding that they might be captured by warring parties and held incommunicado in secret locations where they may ultimately die.
She noted that they might be victims of extrajudicial executions and their bodies hidden in unmarked graves.
Girls and boys who become separated from their families, and elderly persons or persons with disabilities who are unable to flee or are left behind go missing, she said.
Whatever the conditions, she said, the families of missing persons are left in a state of absolute despair, not knowing the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones.
If the missing person is also the breadwinner, the effect on families can be economically devastating, she clarified.
Ghelani said there is no comprehensive number for the missing in conflict; it is enough to know that the situation is dire.
It can be heard more form the President of the ICRC that more than 10,000 cases of missing persons have been opened by ICRC in relation to the Syrian conflict, she stated.
The ICRC received 13,000 requests for backing in finding missing relatives from families in Nigeria.
In South Sudan, Yemen and Myanmar, the UN bodies have reported cases of enforced disappearance of persons deprived of their liberty, along with many other persons reported to be missing, she pointed out.
Moreover, there are cases of missing persons still pending clarification that happened years ago and even decades ago in Lebanon, the Balkans, Sri Lanka and Nepal, she told the attendees.
She said that the international humanitarian law prohibits enforced disappearance, adding that the law requires that parties to conflict must take all feasible measures to account for those reported missing as a result of armed conflict.
She encouraged parties to conflict to coopretation to establish the necessary legal and policy frameworks related to missing persons and the needs of their families.
Ghelani welcomed launching this year of ICRC's Missing Persons Project, calling for addressing the scale of scale of the problem, by respecting and ensuring respect for international humanitarian law.
She called for taking necessary measures for the sake of the missing now, and in the future, and for the sake of the families suffering much as they wait for news. (pickup previous)


Kuwait-  OCHA official says UNSC resolution on missing persons in war ambitious

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