States Must Do More to Stem "New & Frightening Trend" of Attacks Against Health Care


Health workers are under attack as never before and it's high time that States take concrete action to ensure that patients and health care personnel, facilities, and vehicles are respected and protected. That was the conclusion of a high-level panel, which took place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday.

Watch the webcast of the event.

The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, co-chaired the event with the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Margaret Chan. The panel was moderated by the UN's Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief (OCHA), Valerie Amos. Opening remarks were delivered by the UN's Deputy Secretary General, Jan Eliasson, and speeches were also delivered by the Foreign Minister of Norway, Børge Brende, the Foreign Minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt, and Côte d'Ivoire's former Minister of Health, Thérèse N'dri Yoman.

"We're meeting at a time of great crisis in the world. When violence restricts humanitarians from helping those in need, millions suffer. This is a new and frightening trend," Mr. Eliasson said, adding that he would like to see urgent preventative measures and diplomatic steps taken to put a stop to the problem.

The aim of the debate was to reinforce the role and commitment of States in ensuring the protection of health care, particularly in situations of armed conflict and emergencies, while garnering support for an eventual UN resolution on the topic.

The full article continues at on the Intercross website.