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UNITED
NATIONS
S

        Security Council
Distr.
GENERAL
S/RES/1265 (1999)
17 September 1999

RESOLUTION 1265 (1999)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 4046th meeting,
on 17 September 1999


The Security Council,

Recalling the statement of its President of 12 February 1999 (S/PRST/1999/6),

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 8 September 1999 (S/1999/957) submitted to the Security Council in accordance with the above- mentioned statement,

Taking note of the reports of the Secretary-General of 13 April 1998 on the "Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa" (S/1998/318) and 22 September 1998 on the "Protection for Humanitarian Assistance to Refugees and Others in Conflict Situations" (S/1998/883), in particular their analysis related to the protection of civilians,

Noting that civilians account for the vast majority of casualties in armed conflicts and are increasingly targeted by combatants and armed elements, gravely concerned by the hardships borne by civilians during armed conflict, in particular as a result of acts of violence directed against them, especially women, children and other vulnerable groups, including refugees and internally displaced persons, and recognizing the consequent impact this will have on durable peace, reconciliation and development,

Bearing in mind its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security, and underlining the importance of taking measures aimed at conflict prevention and resolution,

Stressing the need to address the causes of armed conflict in a comprehensive manner in order to enhance the protection of civilians on a long-term basis, including by promoting economic growth, poverty eradication, sustainable development, national reconciliation, good governance, democracy, the rule of law and respect for and protection of human rights,

Expressing its deep concern at the erosion in respect for international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law and principles during armed conflict, in particular deliberate acts of violence against all those protected under such law, and expressing also its concern at the denial of safe and unimpeded access to people in need,

Underlining the importance of the widest possible dissemination of international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law and of relevant training for, inter alia, civilian police, armed forces, members of the judicial and legal professions, civil society and personnel of international and regional organizations,

Recalling the statement of its President of 8 July 1999 (S/PRST/1999/21), and emphasizing its call for the inclusion, as appropriate, within specific peace agreements and, on a case-by-case basis, within United Nations peacekeeping mandates, of clear terms for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, including the safe and timely disposal of arms and ammunition,

Mindful of the particular vulnerability of refugees and internally displaced persons, and reaffirming the primary responsibility of States to ensure their protection, in particular by maintaining the security and civilian character of refugee and internally displaced person camps,

Underlining the special rights and needs of children in situations of armed conflict, including those of the girl-child,

Recognizing the direct and particular impact of armed conflict on women as referred to in paragraph 18 of the report of the Secretary-General and, in this regard, welcoming the ongoing work within the United Nations system on the implementation of a gender perspective in humanitarian assistance and on violence against women,

1. Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 8 September 1999, and takes note of the comprehensive recommendations contained therein;

2. Strongly condemns the deliberate targeting of civilians in situations of armed conflict as well as attacks on objects protected under international law, and calls on all parties to put an end to such practices;

3. Emphasizes the importance of preventing conflicts which could endanger international peace and security and, in this context, highlights the importance of implementing appropriate preventive measures to resolve conflicts, including the use of United Nations and other dispute settlement mechanisms and of preventive military and civilian deployments, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the Security Council and relevant international instruments;

4. Urges all parties concerned to comply strictly with their obligations under international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law, in particular those contained in the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 and in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977, as well as with the decisions of the Security Council;

5. Calls on States which have not already done so to consider ratifying the major instruments of international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law, and to take appropriate legislative, judicial and administrative measures to implement these instruments domestically, drawing on technical assistance, as appropriate, from relevant international organizations including the International Committee of the Red Cross and United Nations bodies;

6. Emphasizes the responsibility of States to end impunity and to prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and serious violations of international humanitarian law, affirms the possibility, to this end, of using the International Fact-Finding Commission established by Article 90 of the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, reaffirms the importance of the work being done by the ad hoc Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, stresses the obligation of all States to cooperate fully with the Tribunals, and acknowledges the historic significance of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court which is open for signature and ratification by States;

7. Underlines the importance of safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel to civilians in armed conflict, including refugees and internally displaced persons, and the protection of humanitarian assistance to them, and recalls in this regard the statements of its President of 19 June 1997 (S/PRST/1997/34) and 29 September 1998 (S/PRST/1998/30);

8. Emphasizes the need for combatants to ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel, as well as personnel of international humanitarian organizations, and recalls in this regard the statements of its President of 12 March 1997 (S/PRST/1997/13) and 29 September 1998;

9. Takes note of the entry into force of the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel of 1994, recalls the relevant principles contained therein, urges all parties to armed conflicts to respect fully the status of United Nations and associated personnel and, in this regard, condemns attacks and the use of force against United Nations and associated personnel, as well as personnel of international humanitarian organizations, and affirms the need to hold accountable those who commit such acts;

10. Expresses its willingness to respond to situations of armed conflict where civilians are being targeted or humanitarian assistance to civilians is being deliberately obstructed, including through the consideration of appropriate measures at the Council's disposal in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, and notes, in that regard, the relevant recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary-General;

11. Expresses its willingness to consider how peacekeeping mandates might better address the negative impact of armed conflict on civilians;

12. Expresses its support for the inclusion, where appropriate, in peace agreements and mandates of United Nations peacekeeping missions, of specific and adequate measures for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, with special attention given to the demobilization and reintegration of child soldiers, as well as clear and detailed arrangements for the destruction of surplus arms and ammunition and, in this regard, recalls the statement of its President of 8 July 1999;

13. Notes the importance of including in the mandates of peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace-building operations special protection and assistance provisions for groups requiring particular attention, including women and children;

14. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure that United Nations personnel involved in peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace-building activities have appropriate training in international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law, including child and gender-related provisions, negotiation and communication skills, cultural awareness and civilian-military coordination, and urges States and relevant international and regional organizations to ensure that appropriate training is included in their programmes for personnel involved in similar activities;

15. Underlines the importance of civilian police as a component of peacekeeping operations, recognizes the role of police in assuring the safety and well-being of civilians and, in this regard, acknowledges the need to enhance the capacity of the United Nations for the rapid deployment of qualified and well-trained civilian police;

16. Reaffirms its readiness, whenever measures are adopted under Article 41 of the Charter of the United Nations, to give consideration to their impact on the civilian population, bearing in mind the needs of children, in order to consider appropriate humanitarian exemptions;

17. Notes that the excessive accumulation and destabilizing effect of small arms and light weapons pose a considerable impediment to the provision of humanitarian assistance and have a potential to exacerbate and prolong conflicts, endanger the lives of civilians and undermine security and the confidence required for a return to peace and stability;

18. Takes note of the entry into force of the Convention on the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and their Destruction of 1997 and the amended Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby Traps and Other Devices (Protocol II) annexed to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects of 1980, recalls the relevant provisions contained therein, and notes the beneficial effect that their implementation will have on the safety of civilians;

19. Reiterates its grave concern at the harmful and widespread impact of armed conflict on children, recalls its resolution 1261 (1999) of 25 August 1999, and reaffirms the recommendations contained therein;

20. Stresses the importance of consultation and cooperation between the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other relevant organizations, including regional organizations, on follow-up to the report of the Secretary-General and encourages the Secretary-General to continue consultations on this subject and to take concrete actions aimed at enhancing the capacity of the United Nations to improve the protection of civilians in armed conflict;


21. Expresses its willingness also to work in cooperation with regional organizations to examine how these bodies might better enhance the protection of civilians in armed conflict;

22. Decides to establish immediately an appropriate mechanism to review further the recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary-General and to consider appropriate steps by April 2000 in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations;

23. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.


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