Ambassador Hilale Stresses Protection of Civilians, Peace and Security at UN Security Council

Ambassador Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative of Morocco to the UN, in his capacity as co-chair of the Group of Friends on the Responsibility to Protect, addressed the Security Council on behalf of this group of 55 Member States and the European Union, stating that the protection of civilians requires conflict prevention and peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law.

Mr. Hilale spoke at an open debate held Tuesday at the Council to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Resolution 1265, which for the first time established the protection of civilians as a crucial issue for international peace and security, as well as the 75th anniversary of the 1949 Geneva Conventions on the protection of civilians in time of war.

The Ambassador stressed on this occasion that despite the continued commitment of the international community to protect civilians from human rights violations and criminal atrocities, the world is witnessing a continuous and widespread deterioration in respect for civilian life and a “shocking” disregard for the norms and laws established to mitigate the effects of armed conflict.

In this context, he emphasized the imperative of “full and effective” respect for international law for the protection of civilians, noting that all parties to conflicts are obliged to respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law, while those responsible for violations must be held accountable for their acts, particularly in relation to conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence.

Member States should take significant measures at the national and international levels to improve the protection of civilians in times of conflict, including by implementing policies and practices to mitigate harm to civilians, Mr. Hilale noted.

The co-chair of the Group of Friends on the Responsibility to Protect called on the international community to ensure the assistance of civilians caught in conflict, adding that Security Council members should take prompt and decisive action in this regard.

Speaking in his national capacity, the Permanent Representative of Morocco to the UN also highlighted Morocco’s unwavering commitment under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI to regional and international peace and security.

He noted that this commitment is materialized, in particular, by Morocco’s consistent contribution to peacekeeping operations, noting that the Kingdom, which is one of the oldest and most important troop contributors in Africa and the world, with over 75,000 members of the Royal Armed Forces deployed in 15 UN peacekeeping operations on all continents since 1960, has established itself as a provider of excellence for troop training, particularly within the framework of the triangular partnership linking it to the UN and the Member States of this organization.

Moreover, Mr. Hilale recalled the speech of His Majesty King Mohammed VI addressed to the 15th Summit Conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), held in Banjul on May 4, 2024, in which the Sovereign stressed: “We are thus deeply concerned about the rise of hate speech that is causing more and more victims,” affirming: “We are hopeful that the resolution initiated by the Kingdom of Morocco and adopted unanimously by the General Assembly on July 25, 2023, on combating hate speech, will make it possible to take a qualitative leap forward in the fight against extremism and hate speech.”

Referring to the tragic situation in Gaza, the Ambassador stated that Morocco, whose Sovereign, King Mohammed VI is the Chairman of the OIC Al Quds Committee, reiterates its call for an immediate, durable and verifiable ceasefire in Gaza and to allow the smooth, sufficient and unhindered flow of humanitarian aid.

He also stressed the imperative to ensure the protection of civilians and humanitarian workers in accordance with international law and international humanitarian law, as well as the release of all prisoners and detainees, the diplomat continued.

He stressed that Morocco rejects the imposition of a new reality in the Gaza Strip, attempts at forced displacement of Palestinians, and the threat to extend military operations to encompass all territories of the Gaza Strip, including Rafah.

“The Kingdom of Morocco insists on the obligation to open a political perspective on the Palestinian question to revive the two-state solution, with an independent Palestinian state, on the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital,” concluded the Ambassador.

About محمد الفاسي