Related Rule
Belgium
Practice Relating to Rule 55. Access for Humanitarian Relief to Civilians in Need
In 2007, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the humanitarian situation in the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa, the representative of Belgium stated, with reference to Somalia:
The security situation and bureaucratic and other obstacles are hindering the delivery of assistance and the movement of humanitarian workers in Somalia. In that context, Belgium appeals to the Somali authorities to do everything they can to facilitate the access to humanitarian assistance. 
Belgium, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Belgium before the UN Security Council on the “Humanitarian situation in the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa”, 21 May 2007, p. 18.
In 2007, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the representative of Belgium stated: “We have … seen numerous instances of the use of humanitarian assistance for political purposes, which is unacceptable.” 
Belgium, Statement by the permanent representative of Belgium before the UN Security Council on “Protection of civilians in armed conflict”, 22 June 2007, p. 26.
In 2007, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Somalia, the representative of Belgium stated: “All parties … are duty-bound to … facilitate access to those in need.” 
Belgium, Statement by the permanent representative of Belgium before the UN Security Council on “The situation in Somalia”, 17 December 2007, p. 10.
While the core challenges in the protection of civilians identified in the previous reports of the Secretary-General still need our sustained attention, the new report also identifies several protection policy priorities that need to be explored. In particular the following “emerging” issues would benefit from our attention, and the Group of Friends stands ready to act as a platform to advance them. …
… [O]n the arbitrary withholding of consent to relief operations: The Group recalls that international humanitarian law obliges all parties to a conflict to protect civilian populations from the effect of armed conflict. One way this can be achieved is by allowing and facilitating access for humanitarian relief operations, including by simplifying and expediting procedures for the rapid and unhindered delivery of life-saving assistance. The Group is concerned about intimidations, threats, arrests, detentions, injuries or killings of humanitarian workers.
In this regard, the Group notes the intention of the Secretary-General to examine the issue of arbitrary withholding of consent to relief operations. We note the fact that several drafting seminars among legal experts from diverse backgrounds have taken place; responding to the Secretary-General’s recommendation in this regard, the Group expresses its readiness to discuss their findings, among other inputs, with a view to elaborating guidance on how to facilitate consent in a peaceful manner. All parties to conflict must abide by international humanitarian principles and practice to protect civilians; the international community needs to take the initiative to guarantee this. 
Belgium, Statement by the permanent representative of Switzerland during a UN Security Council open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict made on behalf of the Group of Friends on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, namely Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Uruguay, 12 February 2014, p. 2.
Belgium’s Penal Code (1867), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :
10. intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare, by depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival, including by wilfully impeding relief supplies as envisaged in the [1949] Geneva Conventions. 
Belgium, Penal Code, 1867, as amended on 5 August 2003, Chapter III, Title I bis, Article 136 quater, § 1(10).
Belgium’s Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law (1993), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :
6 bis intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare, by depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival, including by wilfully impeding relief supplies as envisaged in the [1949] Geneva Conventions. 
Belgium, Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law, 1993, as amended on 23 April 2003, Article 1 ter, § 1(6 bis).
In 2007, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the representative of Belgium stated:
… Belgium condemns in the strongest terms the refusal to grant access to humanitarian workers in conflict situations. … The [Security] Council must use all of its influence in order to guarantee total access in full security for humanitarian staff. 
Belgium, Statement by the permanent representative of Belgium before the UN Security Council on “Protection of civilians in armed conflict”, 22 June 2007, p. 26.