Report of the Secretary-General on the protection of civilians in armed conflict (S/2012/376)
The present report, submitted pursuant to the request contained in the statement by the President of the Security Council dated 22 November 2010 (S/PRST/2010/25), is my ninth report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.
In its statement, the Council expressed its deep regret that civilians accounted for the vast majority of casualties in armed conflict, including as a result of deliberate targeting, indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks and sexual and gender-based violence, as well as other acts that violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Eighteen months on, the abysmal state of the protection of civilians has changed little. The need to strengthen our efforts to meet the five core challenges elaborated in my reports of 2009 (S/2009/277) and 2010 (S/2010/579) remains urgent.
The present report provides an update on progress made in responding to the core challenges, namely, enhancing compliance by parties to conflict with international law; enhancing compliance by non-State armed groups; enhancing protection by United Nations peacekeeping and other relevant missions; improving humanitarian access; and enhancing accountability for violations. The report takes stock of encouraging developments and ongoing or emerging concerns affecting civilians in contemporary conflicts and makes further recommendations for responding to the core challenges. It should be read in conjunction with my 2009 and 2010 reports, the recommendations of which remain relevant.