Practice Relating to Rule 55. Access for Humanitarian Relief to Civilians in Need

Note: For practice concerning the provision of basic necessities to displaced persons, see Rule 131, Section A. Practice concerning deprivation of access to food and medicine as an element of the crime against humanity of extermination is included under the present rule; for general practice concerning extermination as a crime against humanity, see Rule 89.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 23 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
Each High Contracting Party shall allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores … intended only for civilians of another High Contracting Party, even if the latter is its adversary. It shall likewise permit the free passage of all consignments of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under fifteen, expectant mothers and maternity cases.
The obligation of a High Contracting Party to allow the free passage of the consignments indicated in the previous paragraph is subject to the condition that this Party is satisfied that there are no serious reasons for fearing:
(a) that the consignments may be diverted from their destination,
(b) that the control may not be effective, or
(c) that a definite advantage may accrue to the military efforts or economy of the enemy through the substitution of the above-mentioned consignments for goods which would otherwise be provided or produced by the enemy or through the release of such material, services or facilities as would otherwise be required for the production of such goods.
The Power which allows the passage of the consignments indicated in the first paragraph of this Article may make such permission conditional on the distribution to the persons benefited thereby being made under the local supervision of the Protecting Powers. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 23.
Additional Protocol I
Article 70 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides:
(2) The Parties to the conflict and each High Contracting Party shall allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of all relief consignments, equipment and personnel provided in accordance with this Section, even if such assistance is destined for the civilian population of the adverse Party.
(3) The Parties to the conflict and each High Contracting Party which allows the passage of relief consignments, equipment and personnel in accordance with paragraph 2:
(a) shall have the right to prescribe the technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted;
(b) may make such permission conditional on the distribution of this assistance being made under the local supervision of a Protecting Power;
(c) shall, in no way whatsoever, divert relief consignments from the purpose for which they are intended nor delay their forwarding, except in cases of urgent necessity in the interest of the civilian population concerned. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 70(2) and (3). Article 70 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.43, 27 May 1977, p. 245.
Additional Protocol II (draft)
Article 33 of the draft Additional Protocol II submitted by the ICRC to the CDDH, provided:
1. If the civilian population is inadequately supplied, in particular, with foodstuffs, clothing, medical and hospital stores and means of shelter, the parties to the conflict shall agree to and facilitate, to the fullest possible extent, those relief actions which are exclusively humanitarian and impartial in character and conducted without any adverse distinction …
2. The parties to the conflict and any High Contracting Party through whose territory supplies must pass shall grant free passage when relief actions are carried out in accordance with the conditions stated in paragraph 1.
3. When prescribing the technical methods relating to assistance or transit, the parties to the conflict and any High Contracting Party shall endeavour to facilitate and accelerate the entry, transport, distribution, or passage of relief.
4. The parties and any High Contracting Party may set as condition that the entry, transport, distribution, or passage of relief be executed under the supervision of an impartial humanitarian body.
5. The parties to the conflict and any High Contracting Party shall in no way whatsoever divert relief consignments from the purpose for which they are intended or delay the forwarding of such consignments. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. I, Part Three, Draft Additional Protocols, June 1973, p. 43.
This proposal was amended and adopted by consensus in Committee II of the CDDH. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIII, CDDH/406/Rev.1, 17 March–10 June 1977, p. 385, § 96.
The relevant part of the approved text provided:
3. The Parties to the conflict and each High Contracting Party through whose territory these relief supplies will pass shall facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of all relief consignments provided in accordance with the conditions stated in paragraph 2.
4. The Parties to the conflict and each High Contracting Party which allows the passage of relief consignments in accordance with paragraph 3:
(a) shall have the right to prescribe the technical arrangements including the right of search under which such passage is allowed;
(b) may make such permission conditional on the satisfactory assurance that such relief consignments will be used for the purpose for which they are intended;
(c) shall in no way whatsoever divert relief consignments from the purpose for which they are intended or delay their forwarding, except in cases of urgent necessity, in the interest of the civilian population concerned. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIII, CDDH/406/Rev.1, 17 March–10 June 1977, p. 424.
Eventually, however, this paragraph was not included in the final draft article that was voted on in the plenary session.
Agreement between the Government of Croatia and UNCRO
Paragraph 4 of the 1995 Agreement between the Government of Croatia and UNCRO stipulates:
Full access by UNCRO and by humanitarian organizations, particularly UNHCR and the ICRC, to the civilian population, for the purpose of providing for the humanitarian needs of the civilian population, will be assured by the authorities of Croatia, to the extent allowed by objective security considerations. 
Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the United Nations Peace Forces (UNPF)-United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation (UNCRO) on temporary measures in the areas formerly known as “Sector North” and “Sector South”, Zagreb, 6 August 1995, annexed to Letter dated 7 August 1995 from the UN Secretary-General addressed to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/1995/666, 7 August 1995, Annex III, § 4.
ICC Statute
Pursuant to Article 7(1)(b) of the 1998 ICC Statute, “[e]xtermination” constitutes a crime against humanity “when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population”. Article 7(2)(b) defines extermination as including “the intentional infliction of conditions of life, inter alia, the deprivation of access to food and medicine, calculated to bring about the destruction of part of a population”. 
Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Rome, 17 July 1998, UN Doc. A/CONF.183/9, Article 7(1)(b) and (2)(b).
UN-Cambodia Agreement Concerning the Prosecution under Cambodian Law of Crimes Committed During the Period of Democratic Kampuchea
Article 9 of the 2003 UN-Cambodia Agreement Concerning the Prosecution under Cambodian Law of Crimes Committed During the Period of Democratic Kampuchea provides:
The subject-matter jurisdiction of the Extraordinary Chambers shall be the crime of genocide as defined in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, crimes against humanity as defined in the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and such other crimes as defined in Chapter II of the Law on the Establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers as promulgated on 10 August 2001. 
Agreement between the UN and the Royal Government of Cambodia Concerning the Prosecution under Cambodian Law of Crimes Committed During the Period of Democratic Kampuchea, Phnom Penh, 6 June 2003, Article 9.
In accordance with Article 2 of the Agreement, Cambodia’s Law on the Establishment of the ECCC as amended further implements these provisions.  
Agreement between the UN and the Royal Government of Cambodia Concerning the Prosecution under Cambodian Law of Crimes Committed During the Period of Democratic Kampuchea, Phnom Penh, 6 June 2003, Article 2.
Kampala Convention
Article 5(7) of the 2009 Kampala Convention establishes an obligation for States Parties to “allow rapid and unimpeded passage of all relief consignments, equipment and personnel to internally displaced persons”. 
African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, adopted in Kampala, Uganda, 23 October 2009, Article 5(7).
Hague Statement on Respect for Humanitarian Principles
In the 1991 Hague Statement on Respect for Humanitarian Principles, the Presidents of the six republics of the former Yugoslavia reminded all fighting units of their obligation to provide “unconditional support for the action of the ICRC in favour of the victims”. 
Statement on Respect for Humanitarian Principles, signed by the Presidents of the Six Republics of the former Yugoslavia, The Hague, 5 November 1991.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 9 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia provides:
The Parties shall allow the free passage of all consignments of medicines and medical supplies, essential foodstuffs and clothing which are destined exclusively for the other party’s civilian population …
The Parties shall consent and cooperate with operations to provide the civilian population with exclusively humanitarian, impartial and non-discriminatory assistance. All facilities will be given in particular to the ICRC. 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 9.
Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 2.6 of the 1992 Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina states:
The Parties shall allow the free passage of all consignments of medicines and medical supplies, essential foodstuffs and clothing which are destined exclusively to the civilian population.
They shall consent to and cooperate with operations to provide the civilian population with exclusively humanitarian, impartial and non-discriminatory assistance. All facilities will be given in particular to the ICRC. 
Agreement between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 22 May 1992, § 2.6.
Bahir Dar Agreement
In paragraph 2 of the 1992 Bahir Dar Agreement, several parties to the conflict in Somalia agreed to cooperate in creating an atmosphere of peace for the free distribution of relief supplies to reach all needy people throughout the country and “to ensure that all ports, airports and land routes and distribution centres be open for the movement and distribution of relief supplies”. 
Agreement on Humanitarian Issues of the All-Party Meeting on Somalia, Bahir Dar, 2 June 1992, § 2.
San Remo Manual
Paragraph 103 of the 1994 San Remo Manual states:
If the civilian population of the blockaded territory is inadequately provided with food and other objects essential for its survival, the blockading party must provide for free passage of such foodstuffs and other essential supplies. 
Louise Doswald-Beck (ed.), San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994, Prepared by international lawyers and naval experts convened by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995, § 103.
Agreement on a Cease-fire in the Republic of Yemen
Paragraph 3 of the 1994 Agreement on a Cease-fire in the Republic of Yemen states:
The International Committee of Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations will be granted a possibility to unimpededly deliver humanitarian relief, primarily medicine, water and food supplies to the areas affected as a result of the conflict. 
Agreement on a Cease-fire in the Republic of Yemen, Moscow, 30 June 1994, § 3.
Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement
According to Principle 25 of the 1998 Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement provides:
2. International humanitarian organisations and other appropriate actors have the right to offer their services in support of the internally displaced. Consent thereto shall not be arbitrarily withheld, particularly when authorities concerned are unable or unwilling to provide the required humanitarian assistance.
3. All authorities concerned shall grant and facilitate the free passage of humanitarian assistance and grant persons engaged in the provision of such assistance rapid and unimpeded access to the internally displaced. 
Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, presented to the UN Commission on Human Rights by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1998/53/Add.2, 11 February 1998, Principle 25, §§ 2 and 3.
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 9.9 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin states: “The United Nations force shall facilitate the work of relief operations which are humanitarian and impartial in character.” 
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 9.9.
Agreement on the Protection and Provision of Humanitarian Assistance in the Sudan
In paragraph 1 of the 1999 Agreement on the Protection and Provision of Humanitarian Assistance in the Sudan, the parties agreed that:
all humanitarian agencies accredited by the United Nations for humanitarian work in the Sudan shall have free and unimpeded access to all war-affected populations in need of assistance and to all war-affected populations for the purposes of assessing whether or not they are in need of humanitarian assistance. 
Agreement on the Implementation of Principles Governing the Protection and Provision of Humanitarian Assistance to War Affected Civilian Populations, concluded by the Government of Sudan, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and the United Nations Operation Lifeline Sudan, Geneva, 15 December 1999, § 1.
The parties further bound themselves, “to the best of their abilities”, to facilitate access for all humanitarian agencies accredited by the UN for humanitarian work in the Sudan. 
Agreement on the Implementation of Principles Governing the Protection and Provision of Humanitarian Assistance to War Affected Civilian Populations, concluded by the Government of Sudan, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and the United Nations Operation Lifeline Sudan, Geneva, 15 December 1999, § 1.
In paragraph 2, the parties agreed to:
guarantee that all humanitarian assistance targeted and intended for beneficiaries in areas under their respective control will be delivered to those beneficiaries and will not be taxed, diverted or in any other way removed from the intended recipient or given to any other persons or groups. 
Agreement on the Implementation of Principles Governing the Protection and Provision of Humanitarian Assistance to War Affected Civilian Populations, concluded by the Government of Sudan, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and the United Nations Operation Lifeline Sudan, Geneva, 15 December 1999, § 2.
Cairo Plan of Action
In paragraph 52 of the 2000 Cairo Plan of Action, the heads of government of African States and the EU urged States, during armed conflicts, to ensure that “impartial humanitarian organizations have secure, rapid and unimpeded access to the civilian population”. 
Cairo Plan of Action, adopted at the Africa-Europe Summit, held under the aegis of the Organization of African Unity and the European Union, Cairo, 3–4 April 2000, § 52.
UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15
The UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15 establishes panels with exclusive jurisdiction over serious criminal offences, including crimes against humanity. According to Section 5(1)(b), “[e]xtermination” constitutes a crime against humanity “when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population”. Section 5(2)(a) defines extermination as including “the intentional infliction of conditions of life, inter alia, the deprivation of access to food and medicine, calculated to bring about the destruction of part of a population”. 
Regulation on the Establishment of Panels with Exclusive Jurisdiction over Serious Criminal Offences, UN Doc. UNTAET/REG/2000/15, Dili, 6 June 2000, Section 5(1)(b) and (2)(a).
Linas-Marcoussis Agreement between the political forces of Côte d’Ivoire
The 2003 Linas-Marcoussis Agreement between the political forces of Côte d’Ivoire provides:
1) At the invitation of the President of the French Republic, a Round Table of the Ivorian political forces met in Linas-Marcoussis from 15 to 23 January 2003. It brought together the following parties: FPI, MFA, MJP, MPCI, MPIGO, PDCI-RDA, PIT, RDR, UDCY, UDPCI … The delegations have shown high-mindedness to allow the Round Table to bring the positions closer together and to arrive at the following consensus, all elements of which – principles and annexes – have equal value:
Annex
VI-Rights and liberties of the human person
4) The government of national reconciliation shall commit itself to facilitating humanitarian operations in favour of all the victims of the conflict throughout the national territory. 
Linas-Marcoussis Agreement between the political forces of Côte d’Ivoire, Round table of the Ivorian political forces, meeting at Linas-Marcoussis from 15 to 23 January 2003 and bringing together the following parties: FPI (Front Populaire Ivoirien), MFA (Mouvement des Forces d’Avenir), MJP (Mouvement pour la Justice et la Paix), MPCI (Mouvement Patriotique de Côte d’Ivoire), MPIGO (Mouvement Populaire Ivoirien du Grand Ouest), PDCI-RDA (Parti Démocratique de la Côte d’Ivoire-Rassemblement Démocratique Africain), PIT (Parti Ivoirien des Travailleurs), RDR (Rassemblement des Républicains), UDCY (Union Démocratique et Citoyenne), UDPCI (Union pour la Démocratie et la Paix en Côte d’Ivoire), Linas-Marcoussis, 24 January 2003, Text of the agreement, paragraph 1 and Annex, paragraph VI(4).
N’Djamena Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement
Article 1 of the 2004 N’Djamena Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement states:
The parties decide on the cessation of hostilities between them and specifically proclaim a cease-fire for a period of 45 days automatically renewable except if opposed by one of the parties. The ceasefire will be effective on land, and air, to allow on one hand, a fast and unrestricted humanitarian access to the needy populations of Darfur and on the other hand, to arrive at a just and durable solution to the problem in Darfur. 
Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement on the Conflict in Darfur, signed by the Government of Sudan, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement, the African Union and the Chadian Mediation, N’Djamena, 8 April 2004, Article 1.
Article 2 of the Agreement states that during the cease-fire each party shall “[e]nsure humanitarian access”. 
Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement on the Conflict in Darfur, signed by the Government of Sudan, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement, the African Union and the Chadian Mediation, N’Djamena, 8 April 2004, Article 2.
Article 8 of the Agreement provides:
The parties undertake to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the creation of conditions favourable to supplying emergency relief to the displaced persons and other civilian victims of war and this, wherever they are in the Darfur region, in accordance with the appendix attached to the present Agreement. 
Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement on the Conflict in Darfur, signed by the Government of the Sudan, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement, the African Union and the Chadian Mediation, N’Djamena, 8 April 2004, Article 8.
N’Djamena Protocol on the Establishment of Humanitarian Assistance
The 2004 N’Djamena Protocol on the Establishment of Humanitarian Assistance states:
The concept and execution of the humanitarian assistance in Darfur will … conform to the international principles with a view to guarantee that it will be credible, transparent, and inclusive and notably: the 1949 Geneva Conventions and its two 1977 Additional Protocols; the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the 1966 International [Covenant] on Civil and [Political] Rights, the 1952 Geneva Convention [Relating to the Status of] Refugees, the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (Deng Principles) and the provisions of General Assembly resolution 46/182. 
Protocol on the Establishment of Humanitarian Assistance in Darfur, signed by the Government of Sudan, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement, the African Union and the Chadian Mediation, N’Djamena, 8 April 2004, annexed to the N’Djamena Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement, signed by the Government of Sudan, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement, the African Union and the Chadian Mediation, N’Djamena, 8 April 2004.
N’Djamena Declaration on Ending Recruitment and Use of Children by Armed Forces and Groups
In June 2010, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Sudan adopted the N’Djamena Declaration and agreed as follows:
Reiterating our concern regarding the precarious situation of children affected by conflict and the consistent presence of children within armed forces and groups in our region;
Recognizing that States have the primary responsibility of ensuring, without discrimination, security and protection of all children living on their national territory,
We pledge:
5. To facilitate access of international humanitarian organisations protecting children to locations where children involved in armed conflict are gathered, as well as their work in identification, release and unconditional withdrawal of girls and boys associated with armed forces and groups consistent with national, regional and international instruments. 
N’Djamena Declaration adopted at the Regional Conference on Ending Recruitment and Use of Children by Armed Forces and Groups: Contributing to Peace, Justice and Development, signed by Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Sudan, N’Djamena, 7–9 June 2010, Preamble and § 5.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) provides:
Each High Contracting Party shall allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores … intended only for civilians of another High Contracting Party, even if the latter is its adversary. It shall likewise permit the free passage of all consignments of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under fifteen, expectant mothers and maternity cases.
The obligation of a High Contracting Party to allow the free passage of the consignments indicated in the previous paragraph is subject to the condition that this Party is satisfied that there are no serious reasons for fearing:
(a) that the consignments may be diverted from their destination,
(b) that the control may not be effective, or
(c) that a definite advantage may accrue to the military efforts or economy of the enemy through the substitution of the above-mentioned consignments for goods which would otherwise be provided or produced by the enemy or through the release of such material, services or facilities as would otherwise be required for the production of such goods.
The Power which allows the passage of the consignments indicated in the first paragraph of this Article may make such permission conditional on the distribution to the persons benefited thereby being made under the local supervision of the Protecting Powers. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 4.006(3).
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) stipulates that the parties shall allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores and objects necessary for religious worship intended only for civilians of another contracting party, even if the latter is its adversary. It also provides for the obligation to permit the free passage of all consignments of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under 15, expectant mothers and maternity cases. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 4.11.
Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) states in relation to blockades:
There is a duty to consider, in good faith, requests for relief operations, but no duty to agree thereto. Any obligation upon a Party to permit a relief operation is dependent on the agreement of the State in control, given at an appropriate time. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 850, footnote 6.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides: “The free passage of medical and hospital stores, essential foodstuffs, clothing, bedding … which are intended for civilians, including those of an enemy, must be allowed.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 948.
In situations of occupation, the manual states:
The occupying power is under an obligation to allow free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores … as well as of essential foodstuffs, clothing and medical supplies intended for children under 15 years of age, expectant mothers and maternity cases, although it may require that distribution of such supplies be under the supervision of the Protecting Power. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1216.
Regarding a situation of blockade, the manual states:
If the civilian population of the blockaded territory is inadequately provided with food and other objects essential for its survival, the blockading party must provide for free passage of such foodstuffs and other essential supplies, subject to:
a. the right to prescribe the technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted; and
b. the condition that the distribution of such supplies shall be made under the local supervision of a Protecting Power or a humanitarian organisation which offers guarantees of impartiality. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 666.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
The free passage of medical and hospital stores, essential foodstuffs, clothing, bedding, means of shelter and articles necessary for religious worship, which are intended for civilians including those of an enemy, must be allowed. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 9.53.
In situations of siege warfare, the manual states:
The opposing parties are required to try and conclude local agreements … for the passage of consignments of medical and hospital stores … and of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under 15, expectant mothers and maternity cases. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 7.38.
In situations of occupation, the manual states:
The occupying power is under an obligation to allow free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores … as well as of essential foodstuffs, clothing and medical supplies intended for children under 15 years of age, expectant mothers and maternity cases, although it may require that distribution of such supplies be under the supervision of the protecting power. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 12.30.
In a situation of blockade, the manual states:
If the civilian population of the blockaded territory is inadequately provided with food and other objects essential for its survival, the blockading party must provide for free passage of such foodstuffs and other essential supplies, subject to:
• the right to prescribe the technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted; and
• the condition that the distribution of such supplies shall be made under the local supervision of a Protecting Power or a humanitarian organisation which offers guarantees of impartiality. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 6.66.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states, in case of siege warfare: “The parties to a conflict are obliged to facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of all relief consignments, equipment and personnel.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 6-4, § 36.
The manual also provides:
Belligerents must allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores and articles necessary for religious worship intended for civilians, including those of an opposing belligerent. This includes all consignments of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under 15, and expectant and nursing mothers. This obligation is subject to the condition that the belligerent concerned is satisfied that there are no serious grounds for fearing: that the consignments may be diverted from their destination, that control may not be effective, or that the consignments may be of definite advantage to the military effort or economy of the enemy by permitting him to substitute them for goods which he would otherwise have to provide or produce himself. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 11-3, § 23; see also p. 8-9, § 68 (obligation to allow free access to objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population in case the population of a blockaded territory is inadequately supplied therewith).
According to the manual, the same obligation to allow free passage of relief consignments intended for civilians in occupied territories applies to the occupying power. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 12-4, § 32.
The manual also states:
Within the limits of military or security considerations, the belligerents must provide [the ICRC, the local National Red Cross (or equivalent) Society or any other organization that may assist protected persons] with all necessary facilities for giving assistance. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 11-4, § 31.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on land warfare, in the section on siege warfare: “The parties to a conflict are obliged to facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of all relief consignments, equipment and personnel.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 614.7.
In its chapter on naval warfare, in a section on blockade, the manual states:
1. If the civilian population of the blockaded territory is inadequately provided with food and other objects essential for its survival, the blockading party must provide for free passage of such foodstuffs and other essential supplies, subject to:
a. the right to prescribe the technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted; and
b. the condition that the distribution of such supplies shall be made under the local supervision of a Protecting Power or a humanitarian organization which offers guarantees of impartiality, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross.
[2]. The blockading belligerent shall allow the passage of medical supplies for the civilian population or for the wounded and sick members of armed forces, subject to the right to prescribe technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 851.
In its chapter entitled “Treatment of civilians in the hands of a party to the conflict or an occupying power”, the manual states:
1. Belligerents must allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores and articles necessary for religious worship intended for civilians, including those of an opposing belligerent. This includes all consignments of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under 15, and expectant and nursing mothers. This obligation is subject to the condition that the belligerent concerned is satisfied that there are no serious grounds for fearing: that the consignments may be diverted from their destination, that control may not be effective, or that the consignments may be of definite advantage to the military effort or economy of the enemy by permitting him to substitute them for goods which he would otherwise have to provide or produce himself.
2. Permission for the passage of the consignments may be made conditional on distribution taking place under the local supervision of the Protecting Power. Consignments must be forwarded as rapidly as possible, the belligerent who permits their passage being entitled to prescribe the technical arrangements for their transmission. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1113.1–2.
Colombia
Colombia’s Basic Military Manual (1995) states the duty to allow relief organizations, such as the Red Cross, to perform humanitarian activities in favour of non-combatants and civilians. 
Colombia, Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual Básico para las Personerías y las Fuerzas Armadas de Colombia, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, 1995, pp. 21, 22, 30 and 42.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers):
III.2. Humanitarian aid
The parties to the conflict shall allow the free passage of all consignments of humanitarian aid essential for the survival of the civilian population, even if these relief supplies are intended for the enemy population. This aid can comprise, for example, medical and hospital stores, essential foodstuffs, clothing, bedding, emergency accommodation, clothing and medicine especially intended for children, expectant mothers or maternity cases.
The armed forces of the two sides can prescribe technical arrangements for the transport through their territory, for example the routes the convoys must take or the detailed schedule. The convoys can be searched, but their passage must be authorized. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 33.
Djibouti
Djibouti’s Manual on International Humanitarian Law (2004) states:
[I]f the civilian population is deprived of objects essential for their survival (such as foodstuffs or medical supplies), relief action “of an exclusively humanitarian and impartial character and which are conducted without any adverse distinction” (Article 18(2) [1977 Additional] Protocol II) must be undertaken subject to the consent of the state concerned. 
Djibouti, Manuel sur le droit international humanitaire et les droits de l’homme applicables au travail du policier, Ministère de l’Intérieur, Direction Générale de la Police, 2004, p. 32.
The manual also states: “The ICRC … has a treaty-based [and] customary right to humanitarian initiative which allows it to offer its services when it considers that its specific status as a neutral intermediary may contribute to resolving humanitarian problems.” 
Djibouti, Manuel sur le droit international humanitaire et les droits de l’homme applicables au travail du policier, Ministère de l’Intérieur, Direction Générale de la Police, 2004, p. 21.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
If the civilian population of a party to the conflict is inadequately supplied with indispensable goods, relief actions by neutral States or humanitarian organisations shall be permitted. Every State and in particular the adversary, is obliged to grant such relief actions free transit, subject to its right of control. 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 503.
The manual further states: “The occupying power shall agree to relief actions conducted by other States or by humanitarian organisations.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 569.
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) states that an occupying power has the obligation to accept the despatch of relief materials (foodstuffs, medicines, clothing) by other States or impartial humanitarian organizations, especially if the occupied population is inadequately supplied. 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, § 48(15).
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states:
Parties to the conflict shall allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of all relief consignments and equipment meant for the civilian population, and the personnel accompanying such relief supplies, even if such assistance is for the civilians of the adverse Party. The parties shall have the right to prescribe the technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted.
The Parties to the conflict shall protect relief consignments and facilitate their rapid distribution. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, p. 5.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009) states:
213. The [1949 Geneva] Convention [I] guarantees the free passage of all consignments of medical supplies, medical equipment and objects necessary for religious worship intended only for the civilians of another Contracting Party, even those of an enemy.
214. It also permits the free passage of foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under fifteen, expectant mothers and women in labour. 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, §§ 213–214.
The manual also states:
The occupying power must permit relief operations necessary to aid the population and facilitate them by all the means at its disposal, particularly by authorizing the charitable work of the Protecting Powers, neutral States, the ICRC and any other impartial humanitarian organizations. 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 236.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides:
The parties to the conflict have to give free passage to relief personnel and facilitate the provision of relief. The State giving free passage to relief personnel can make conditions regarding the implementation of the relief action. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. VIII-4.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
0243. In addition to possible action as a protecting power and to gathering information on prisoners of war, the ICRC fulfils the following tasks:
- providing medical and other aid to the civilian population.
0244. In general, the parties to a conflict must do what is possible to provide all facilities to the ICRC to enable it to fulfil its humanitarian task, in order to ensure protection and assistance to the victims of the conflict. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 0243–0244.
The manual also states:
If the civilian population of a territory is not adequately provided with elementary supplies (food, medicines and dressings, clothing, shelter, etc.), relief actions must be undertaken. This relates to the civilian population as a whole, in other words not only protected persons. Offers of such relief may not be regarded as intervention in the armed conflict. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0818.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
Section 10 - Humanitarian aid
1069. Actions to help the civilian population, when it suffers excessive deprivation due to the hostilities or to a shortage of goods essential to their survival, may be undertaken with the consent of the parties, on humane and impartial principles and without detrimental discrimination.
1070. Impartial authorities and organizations may offer their services to provide humanitarian assistance. The belligerent parties should accept this as far as circumstances permit, and facilitate it in all situations where the civilian population is suffering excessive deprivation.
The International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo drew up the “Guiding Principles on the Right to Humanitarian Assistance” in 1993. This “recommendation” states, … inter alia how, and on what conditions, humanitarian aid may usefully take place, and the role in this of the belligerent and the aid organization. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 1069–1070 and p. 172.
In its chapter on peace operations, the manual states:
A peace force must also create opportunities for medical personnel to perform their task duly (e.g., provide access and lend support). This applies to local humanitarian organizations, but also to international organizations such as the ICRC. Medical personnel must be recognizable by the internationally agreed emblems. Where possible, the peace force should also support impartial organizations (NGOs, etc.) and facilitate the provision of humanitarian medical goods and assistance. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1223.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
Belligerents must allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores and articles necessary for religious worship intended for civilians, including those of an opposing belligerent and all consignments of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under 15, and expectant and nursing mothers. This obligation is subject to the condition that the belligerent concerned is satisfied that there are no serious grounds for fearing that:
a.the consignments may be diverted from their destination;
b.control may not be effective; or
c.the consignments may be of definite advantage to the military effort or economy of the enemy by permitting him to substitute them for goods which he would otherwise have to provide or produce himself. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1111(1).
According to the manual, the occupying power is under the same obligation to allow free passage of relief consignments intended for civilians in occupied territories. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1318.
The manual also states:
Within the limits of military or security considerations [the ICRC, the local national Red Cross (or equivalent) society or any other organisation that may assist protected persons] must be granted by belligerents all necessary facilities for giving assistance. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1115.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states, with respect to humanitarian work conducted in non-international armed conflict:
In internal security situations, the armed forces must … facilitate the humanitarian work carried out by national institutions and components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (National Red Cross Society or the Peruvian Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross). 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 82.
The manual also states that “it is prohibited to deploy military personnel as part of a relief convoy”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 26.g.(1).
The manual also states:
Blockade.
(11) If the civilian population of the blockaded territory is inadequately provided with food and other objects essential for its survival, the blockading party must provide for free passage of such foodstuffs and other essential supplies, subject to:
(a) the right to prescribe the technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted;
(b) the condition that the distribution of such supplies shall be made under the local supervision of a Protecting Power or a humanitarian organization which offers guarantees of impartiality, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross.
(12) The blockading belligerent shall allow the passage of medical supplies for the civilian population or for the wounded and sick members of armed forces, subject to the right to prescribe technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 134.a.(11) and (12).
With regard to situations of occupation, the manual further states:
The occupying power must accept relief offered to the civilian population from abroad and facilitate its distribution (for example, food supplies, clothing, medical supplies and religious objects).
Measures must be taken to allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital supplies and objects necessary for religious worship intended only for the civilian population. It must likewise permit the rapid and unimpeded passage of all consignments of foodstuffs, clothing and other supplies essential to the survival of the civilian population, particularly children under eighteen years of age and expectant and nursing mothers.
The obligation to allow the free passage of such consignments is subject to the condition that the party concerned is satisfied that there is no good reason to fear that:
a. the consignments may be diverted from their destination;
b. the control may not be effective;
c. a definite advantage may accrue to the military efforts or economy of the enemy.
Subject to temporary measures that may exceptionally be imposed for urgent reasons of security, the occupying power must give the International Committee of the Red Cross all necessary facilities to ensure protection and assistance for victims of the conflict and to carry out any other humanitarian activity with the prior consent of the parties concerned.
It must also give National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and any other duly recognized humanitarian organization all necessary facilities to pursue their humanitarian activities. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 61.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “Commanders must take into account the following prohibitions: (1) Refrain from deploying military personnel as part of a relief convoy”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 27(g)(1), p. 236.
The manual also states:
a. Blockade
(11) If the civilian population of the blockaded territory is inadequately provided with food and other objects essential for its survival, the blockading party must provide for free passage of such foodstuffs and other essential supplies, subject to:
(a) the right to prescribe the technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted;
(b) the condition that the distribution of such supplies shall be made under the local supervision of a protecting power or a humanitarian organization which offers guarantees of impartiality, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross.
(12) The blockading State party to the conflict shall allow the passage of medical supplies for the civilian population or for the wounded and sick members of the military, subject to the right to prescribe technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 125(a)11–12, p. 317–318.
The manual further states, with regard to situations of occupation:
The occupying power must accept relief offered to the civilian population from abroad and facilitate its distribution (for example, food supplies, clothing, medical supplies and religious objects).
Measures must be taken to allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital supplies and objects necessary for religious worship intended only for the civilian population. It must likewise permit the rapid and unimpeded passage of all consignments of foodstuffs, clothing and other supplies essential to the survival of the civilian population, particularly children under eighteen (18) years of age and expectant or nursing mothers.
The obligation to allow the free passage of such consignments is subject to the condition that the party concerned is satisfied that there is no good reason to fear that:
a. the consignments may be diverted from their destination;
b. the control may not be effective;
c. a definite advantage may accrue to the military effort or economy of the enemy.
Subject to temporary measures that may exceptionally be imposed for urgent reasons of security, the occupying power must give the International Committee of the Red Cross all necessary facilities to ensure protection and assistance of victims of the conflict and to carry out any other humanitarian activity with the prior consent of the parties concerned.
It must also give National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies or any other duly recognized humanitarian organization all necessary facilities to pursue their humanitarian activities. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 62, p. 265.
The manual also states:
If the population of an occupied territory is not adequately provided with the medical supplies and medicines required and the occupying power cannot provide them, the occupying power must allow relief actions to be undertaken by other States or the ICRC. The relief provided can include items such as food, clothing, bedding and emergency shelters. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 87(c), p. 289.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Military Manual (1990) states that the military commander must “give all facilities to the International Committee of the Red Cross and the National Society of Red Cross (Red Crescent) in order for them to carry out their functions on behalf of the victims of armed conflicts”. 
Russian Federation, Instructions on the Application of the Rules of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the USSR, Appendix to Order of the USSR Defence Minister No. 75, 1990, § 14(b).
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states in its chapter on the behaviour of forces in occupied territory,: “The commander shall … organize co-operation with humanitarian organizations on issues related to relief delivery.” 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 22.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) provides: “Allow humanitarian workers to have access to war victims/civilian population.” 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 36.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Teaching Manual (2008) states:
2.3 Specifically Protected Persons and Objects …
a. Civilian Medical Services
Article 23 of [the 1949] Geneva Convention IV determines that the Parties to a conflict must allow the free passage through its territory, of all consignments of medical and hospital supplies as well as objects necessary for religious worship intended only for civilians, even though such consignments are destined for an adversary. The allowing of this free passage is subject to the condition that the Party to the conflict has no serious reasons for fearing:
- That the consignment may be diverted from their destination;
- That the control may not be effective; or
- That a definite advantage may accrue to the military efforts or the economy of the enemy through these goods.
Conclusion
The Parties to a conflict must, under certain conditions, allow the free passage through its territory, of all medical and hospital supplies and objects for religious worship intended only for civilians, even if it is destined for an adversary.
2.7 Special Protection: Occupied Territories
The Occupying Power has all the responsibilities of the legitimate State. Its responsibilities include to:
- Allow and ensure the proper functioning of the administration of the territory in the same way as it was before the occupation. ([1907] Hague [Regulations] articles 43 and 48 and Geneva Convention [IV] articles 51, 54 and 56.) This includes:
- Accept relief actions (such as the provisioning of foodstuffs, clothes, medical and hospital stores and objects necessary for religious worship intended only for civilians) from abroad undertaken for the benefit of the civilian population and facilitate its execution with all the means at its disposal. (Geneva Convention IV Articles 23, 59 to 61 and 63 and [1977] Additional Protocol I Articles 70 and 81) 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 2, pp. 72, 75–77, 155 and 156–159.
The manual also states:
4.1 LOAC [law of armed conflict] in Naval Warfare
Blockades
- The declaration or establishment of a blockade is prohibited if it has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival or the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade.
- If the civilian population of the blockaded territory is inadequately provided with food and other objects essential for its survival, the blockading party must provide for free passage of such foodstuffs and other essential supplies, subject to the right to prescribe the technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted and the condition that the distribution of such supplies shall be made under the local supervision of a Protecting Power or a humanitarian organisation which offers guarantees of impartiality, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross.
- The blockading belligerent shall allow the passage of medical supplies for the civilian population or for the wounded and sick members of armed forces, subject to the right to prescribe technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted. 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 4, pp. 198 and 206–207.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states under the heading “Passage of relief convoys to areas with civilians”:
The free passage of consignments of medical equipment and supplies is subject to the following conditions:
- they are for the exclusive use of the civilian population;
- their distribution can be effectively controlled;
- they do not give the enemy a military advantage. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 9.4.b.
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) states:
According to Article 70 of Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, relief actions of a humanitarian and impartial character, which do not subject one party or the other to discriminatory treatment, shall “be undertaken, subject to the agreement of the Parties concerned in such relief actions”. It is also stated that such offers of relief “shall not be regarded as interference in the armed conflict or as unfriendly acts”. No objections can be raised to such relief actions from the point of view of neutrality law. 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 5.7, p. 114.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states that “the personnel of accepted humanitarian organizations, relief consignments and equipment must benefit from all necessary facilities, notably free passage,” in order to assist civilians who are in a territory temporarily occupied by foreign troops. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 155(2).
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
Non-governmental organizations shall be allowed to perform their functions as to the victims of armed conflicts. Upon consent of the State Party they shall be allowed to perform humanitarian operations to provide relief for the civilian population. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.4.16.
The manual further states: “In case of military necessity the actions of such personnel [“personnel engaged in humanitarian actions”] can be temporarily limited”. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.2.42; see also § 1.2.33.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides:
Belligerents must allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores and articles necessary for religious worship intended for civilians, including those of an opposing belligerent, and all consignments of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under 15, and expectant and nursing mothers. This obligation is subject to the condition that the belligerent concerned is satisfied that there are no serious grounds for fearing: that the consignments may be diverted from their destination, that control may not be effective, or that the consignments may be of definite advantage to the military effort or economy of the enemy by permitting him to substitute them for goods which he would otherwise have to provide or produce himself. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 35.
The manual further states:
If the whole or part of the population of occupied territory suffers from shortage of supplies, the Occupant must agree to relief schemes by all the means at his disposal. The schemes in question will consist in particular of the provision of consignments of foodstuffs, medical supplies and clothing. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 541.
The manual also stipulates: “Within the limits of military or security considerations these organisations [the ICRC, the local national Red Cross (or equivalent) society or any other organisation that may assist protected persons] must be granted by the belligerent all necessary facilities for giving assistance.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 40.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) states, with regard to civilians in enemy hands: “The free passage of medical and hospital stores … is guaranteed as well as essential food and clothes for children, expectant mothers and maternity cases.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 9, p. 34, § 5.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
9.12. The parties to the conflict and all parties to Additional Protocol I must allow and facilitate the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores, objects necessary for religious worship, bedding, means of shelter and “other supplies essential to the survival of the civilian population”, such as essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics, intended only for civilians, even those of an adversary. In the distribution of relief consignments, children under fifteen, expectant mothers, and maternity cases and nursing mothers are to be given priority.
9.12.1. This obligation is, however, conditional on the party being satisfied that there is no serious reason for fearing that:
a. the consignments may be diverted from their destination;
b. control may not be effective; or
c. the provision of these goods would lead to a definite advantage accruing to the military efforts or economy of the enemy.
9.12.2. In addition, the party retains the right to prescribe the technical arrangements for the movement of relief supplies, including search, and to insist that distribution be supervised by the protecting power. A duty is put on all parties not to divert relief consignments, nor to delay them “except in cases of urgent necessity in the interest of the civilian population concerned”. Indeed there is a further duty to protect such consignments and to “encourage and facilitate effective international co-ordination” of relief actions.
9.12.3. Such relief actions shall only be undertaken “subject to the agreement of the Parties concerned”. There is thus, except for those specific consignments covered by the convention, no duty to agree to them though there is a duty to consider in good faith requests for relief operations.
9.12.4. The provisions of paragraph 9.12 do not affect the existing rules of warfare regarding naval blockade, submarine warfare or mine warfare. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 9.12–9.12.4.
In its chapter on maritime warfare, the manual states:
13.75. If the civilian population of the blockaded territory is inadequately provided with food and other objects essential for its survival, the blockading party must provide for free passage of such foodstuffs and other essential supplies, subject to:
a. the right to prescribe the technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted; and
b. the condition that the distribution of such supplies shall be made under the local supervision of a protecting power or a humanitarian organization which offers guarantees of impartiality, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross.
13.76. The blockading belligerent shall allow the passage of medical supplies for the civilian population or for the wounded and sick members of the armed forces, subject to the right to prescribe technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 13.75–13.76
With regard to internal armed conflict, the manual provides: “Whenever the military situation permits, the delivery and distribution of humanitarian aid to people in need must be permitted. Starvation as a method of warfare is prohibited.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 15.27.2.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1976) provides:
Each High Contracting Party shall allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores and objects necessary for religious worship intended only for civilians of another High Contracting Party, even if the latter is its adversary. It shall likewise permit the free passage of all consignments of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under fifteen, expectant mothers and maternity cases.
The obligation of a High Contracting Party to allow the free passage of the consignments indicated in the preceding paragraph is subject to the condition that this Party is satisfied that there are no serious reasons for fearing:
(a) that the consignments may be diverted from their destination,
(b) that the control may not be effective, or
(c) that a definite advantage may accrue to the military efforts or economy of the enemy through the substitution of the above-mentioned consignments for goods which would otherwise be provided by the enemy or through the release of such material, services or facilities as would otherwise be required for the production of such goods. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 262.
With regard to occupying powers, the manual states:
If the whole or part of an occupied territory is inadequately supplied, the Occupying Power shall agree to relief schemes on behalf of the … population, and shall facilitate them by all the means at its disposal.
Such schemes … shall consist, in particular, of the provision of the consignments of foodstuffs, medical supplies and clothing. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 388.
The manual also provides that the ICRC, the National Red Cross (or equivalent) Society or any other organization that may assist protected persons “shall be granted all facilities for [assisting protected persons] by the authorities, within the bounds set by military or security considerations”. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 269.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “The [1949] Geneva Conventions recognize the special status of the ICRC and have assigned specific tasks for it to perform, including … providing relief to the civilian population of occupied territories.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 6.2.2.
Australia
Australia’s ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act (2002) incorporates in the Criminal Code the crimes against humanity defined in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “intentionally inflicting conditions of life (such as the deprivation of access to food or medicine) intended to bring about the destruction of part of a population”. 
Australia, ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act, 2002, Schedule 1, § 268.9(2).
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (2003) lists the following as a crime against humanity:
(1) Whoever, as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of such an attack, perpetrates any of the following acts:
b) Extermination. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, Article 172(1)(b).
The Criminal Code defines the term “extermination” as including: “the intentional infliction of conditions of life, especially deprivation of access to food and medicines, calculated to bring about the destruction of part of a population”. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, Article 172(2)(b).
Canada
Canada’s Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act (2000) provides that the crimes against humanity defined in Article 7 of the 1998 ICC Statute are “crimes according to customary international law” and, as such, indictable offences under the Act. 
Canada, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act, 2000, Section 4(1) and (4).
Colombia
Colombia’s Decree No. 138 (2005) states:
All authorities and persons in Colombia must protect … relief personnel and the persons who permanently or temporarily carry out humanitarian tasks in situations of armed conflict or natural disasters, facilitating their free transit and the transport of drugs, food and drink and humanitarian aid, evacuating the dead, wounded and sick, cooperating with them as necessary for the fulfilment of their tasks. 
Colombia, Decree No. 138, 2005, Article 16.
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended in 1999, punishes any “person who in wartime … wilfully fails to provide the necessary assistance” to the survival of the population. 
Czech Republic, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended in 1999, Article 263a(2)(a).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ethiopia
Under Ethiopia’s Penal Code (1957), it is a punishable offence to organize, order or engage in “measures to prevent the … continued survival” of the members of a national, ethnic, racial, religious or political group, or its progeny. 
Ethiopia, Penal Code, 1957, Article 281(b).
Georgia
Georgia’s Law on Occupied Territories (2008) states:
Article 4. Limitation of Free Movement in the Occupied Territories
2. Citizens of foreign countries and persons without citizenship shall be prohibited to enter the Occupied Territories from any other directions except the ones specified in Paragraph 1 of this Article [Zugdidi and Gori municipalities]; violation of this requirement shall lead to punishment under the criminal law of Georgia.
3. In extraordinary cases special permission to enter the Occupied Territories, in accordance with the rules stipulated in the relevant normative document of the Georgian Government, can be granted to persons covered by Paragraph 2 of this Article if doing so serves … humanitarian purposes.
4. The prohibition and respective responsibility prescribed by Paragraph 2 of this Article shall not be extended to:
b) Persons providing immediate humanitarian assistance in the Occupied Territories in order to ensure the right to life of the population, in particular by providing the population with food, medication and emergency supplies.
5. Persons defined in Paragraph 4 of this Article shall be required to notify the Government of Georgia of the time of entry to and departure from the Occupied Territories prior to entry into the Occupied Territories from the prohibited directions, or, in case of failure to do so, to notify [the Government of Georgia] within a reasonable period of time after entry. Persons defined in Paragraph 4(b) shall also be required to submit information on the assistance provided to the population …
Article 6. Limitation of Economic Activities in the Occupied Territories
1. The following types of activities shall be prohibited in the Occupied Territories:
a) Any economic activity (entrepreneurial or non-entrepreneurial), regardless of whether or not it is implemented for obtaining profit, income or compensation, if under the laws of Georgia … such activity requires a license, permit, authorization or registration or if, under Georgian legislation, such activity requires an agreement but it has not been granted;
b) Import and/or export of military products or [dual-use] products … ;
c) International air traffic and maritime traffic, except for the cases defined in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea;
c) Railway traffic and … the transportation of cargo [by road];
d) Use of national resources;
e) Organization of cash transfer;
f) Financing or any type of support of activities listed in Sub-paragraphs (a)–(e) of this Paragraph.
2. In the Occupied Territories, implementation of activities stipulated in Paragraph 1 of this Article shall be allowed only in exceptional cases, based on special permission granted in accordance with the rules stipulated in the relevant normative document of the Georgian Government, if doing so serves … humanitarian purposes.
6. Prohibitions stipulated in Paragraph 1 of this Article and responsibilities stipulated in Paragraphs 4 and 5 [criminal responsibility for violation of the prohibitions set out in paragraph 1] shall not be extended to persons delivering immediate humanitarian assistance in the Occupied Territories in order to ensure the right to life of the population, in particular by providing the population with food, medication and emergency supplies.
7. Persons defined in Paragraph 6 of this Article shall, prior to the realization of the activities in the Occupied Territories stipulated in Paragraph 6 of this Article or, in case of failure to do so, within a reasonable period of time after the realization of such activity in the Occupied Territories, be required to notify the Government of Georgia of the time of commencement and completion of the relevant activity carried out in the Occupied Territories and to submit information on the assistance provided to the population. 
Georgia, Law on Occupied Territories, 2008, Articles 4(2), (3), (4)(b), (5) and 6(1), (2), (6) and (7).
Germany
Germany’s Law Introducing the International Crimes Code (2002) punishes anyone who, as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, “inflicts, with the intent of destroying a population in whole or in part, conditions of life on that population or on parts thereof, being conditions calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”. 
Germany, Law Introducing the International Crimes Code, 2002, Article 1, § 7(1)(2).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Article 23 of the Geneva Convention IV, and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 70(2), are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
New Zealand
Under New Zealand’s International Crimes and ICC Act (2000), crimes against humanity include the crimes defined in Article 7(1)(b) and (2)(b) of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
New Zealand, International Crimes and ICC Act, 2000, Section 10(2).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … [and in] the two additional protocols to these Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108.
Slovakia
Slovakia’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended, punishes any “person who in wartime … wilfully fails to provide the necessary assistance” to the survival of the population. 
Slovakia, Criminal Code as amended, 1961, Article 263a(2)(a).
South Africa
South Africa’s ICC Act (2002) reproduces the crimes against humanity listed in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “extermination”, which is defined as including “the intentional infliction of conditions of life, inter alia the deprivation of access to food and medicine, calculated to bring about the destruction of part of a population”. 
South Africa, ICC Act, 2002, Schedule 1, Part 2, §§ 1(b) and 2(b).
South Africa
South Africa’s Prohibition of Mercenary Activities and Regulation of Certain Activities in Country of Armed Conflict Act (2006) states:
Definitions and interpretation
1. (1) In this Act, unless the context indicates otherwise –
armed conflict” includes any –
(a) situation in a regulated country proclaimed as such in terms of section 6;
and
(b) armed conflict in any other country which has not been so proclaimed, between–
(i) the armed forces of such country and dissident or rebel armed forces or other armed groups;
(ii) the armed forces of any states;
(iii) armed groups;
(iv) armed forces of any occupying power and dissident or rebel armed forces or any other armed group; or
(v) any other combination of the entities referred to in subparagraphs (i) to (iv);
Committee” means the National Conventional Arms Control Committee, established in terms of section 2 of the National Conventional Arms Control Act, 2002 (Act No. 41 of 2002);
Prohibition and regulation of humanitarian assistance in country of armed conflict
5. (1) No South African humanitarian organisation may provide humanitarian assistance in a country where there is an armed conflict or a regulated country, unless such organisation has been registered with the Committee for that purpose.
(2) An organisation referred to in subsection (1) must submit to the Committee an application for registration in the prescribed form and manner.
Proclamation of regulated country
6. (1) The Committee must inform the National Executive, whenever it is of the opinion that–
(a) an armed conflict exists or is imminent in any country; and
(b) such a country should be proclaimed to be a regulated country.
Criteria for authorisation or exemption
9. An authorisation in terms of section 7(2), and exemption in terms of section 13, may be given, unless it –
(a) is in conflict with the Republic’s obligations in terms of international law;
(b) would result in the infringement of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the territory where the assistance or service is to be rendered or the exemption granted;
(c) endangers the peace by introducing destabilising military capabilities into the region or territory where the assistance or service, or humanitarian aid, is or is likely to be, provided or rendered;
(d) would contribute to regional instability or negatively influence the balance of power in such region or territory;
(e) in any manner supports or encourages any terrorist activity or terrorist and related activities, as defined in section 1 of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act, 2004 (Act No. 33 of 2004);
(f) contributes to the escalation of regional conflicts;
(g) in any manner initiates, causes or furthers an armed conflict, or a coup d’état, uprising or rebellion against a government; or
(h) prejudices the Republic’s national or international interests.
Exemptions
13. The President as Head of the National Executive may, subject to section 9, upon request in the prescribed form and manner, exempt any humanitarian aid organisation from the provisions of section 5 of this Act, if such exemption would facilitate the rendering of humanitarian aid, without delay, in order to relieve the plight of civilians in an armed conflict, and subject to such conditions as he or she may determine. 
South Africa, Prohibition of Mercenary Activities and Regulation of Certain Activities in Country of Armed Conflict Act, 2006, Sections 1(1), 5–6(1), 9 and 13.
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Emergency (Prevention and Prohibition of Terrorism and Specified Terrorist Activities) Regulations (2006) states:
6. No person or groups of persons either incorporated or unincorporated including an organization, shall either individually or as a group or groups or through other persons engage in:–
(a) terrorism, or
(b) any specified terrorist activity, or
(c) any other activity in furtherance of any act of terrorism or specified terrorist activity committed by any person, group or groups of persons.
7. No person shall:–
(a) wear, display, hoist or possess the uniform, dress, symbol, emblem, or flag of;
(b) summon, convene, conduct or take part in a meeting of;
(c) obtain membership or join;
(d) harbour, conceal, assist a member, cadre or any other associate of;
(e) promote, encourage, support, advice, assist, act on behalf of; or
(f) organize or take part in any activity or event of, any person, group, groups of persons or an organization which acts in contravention of regulation 6 of these regulations.
8. No person shall engage in any transaction in any manner whatsoever, including contributing, providing, donating, selling, buying, hiring, leasing, receiving, making available, funding, distributing or lending materially or otherwise, to any person, group or groups of persons either incorporated or unincorporated, or with a member, cadre or associate of such a person, group or groups of persons, which acts in contravention of regulations 6 and 7 of these regulations;
Provided however, for the purposes of facilitating the development of a peaceful political solution, termination of terrorism or specified terrorist activity, maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community, conducting developmental activities, or for any other lawful purpose, it shall be lawful for any person including a national or international governmental or non-governmental organization, to in good faith and with the written approval of the Competent Authority appointed in terms of these regulations, engage in any approved transaction, with a person or group or groups of persons who are acting in contravention of regulations 6 or 7 hereof;
Provided further, it shall not be necessary to obtain such approval of the Competent Authority in order to provide emergency medical treatment or medical assistance to any person who may be acting in contravention of regulations 6 and 7 hereof.
16. The Competent Authority … shall with a view to facilitating a peaceful political solution, termination of terrorism or specified terrorist activities, the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community, provision of humanitarian assistance, conduct of developmental activities, or for any other lawful purpose, grant approval either unconditionally or subject to stipulated conditions, to any person, group or groups of persons, to engage in any stipulated lawful transaction with any other person, group or groups of persons who may be acting in contravention of regulations 6 or 7 of these regulations. 
Sri Lanka, Emergency (Prevention and Prohibition of Terrorism and Specified Terrorist Activities) Regulations, 2006, §§ 6–8 and 16.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Under the UK ICC Act (2001), it is a punishable offence to commit a crime against humanity as defined in Article 7(1)(b) and (2)(b) of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
United Kingdom, ICC Act, 2001, Sections 50(1) and 51(1) (England and Wales) and Section 58(1) (Northern Ireland).
Canada
In 2011, in the XXXX case, the Immigration Division of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board declared Mr. XXXX inadmissible to Canada on grounds of, inter alia, complicity in crimes against humanity. The Division stated:
158. The credible evidence on the history of the former Ethiopia shows that between the start of the 1960s and the fall of the Lt.-Col. Mengistu’s regime in February 1992 various rebel groups and national liberations fronts engaged in wars of liberation with the Ethiopian government based in Addis Ababa. That war lasted thirty years and cost the lives of an untold number of victims. One of the leading rebel groups / liberation fronts was the EPLF [Eritrean People’s Liberation Front]…
166. Although Counsel argues that Mr. XXXX did not participate in military action and held … a civilian administrative position, Mr. XXXX’ testimony indicates that his duties involved activities that were directly related to ensuring the functioning of the military forces of the EPLF to pursue military actions and attacks. Some of those attacks resulted in the perpetration of crimes against humanity and war crimes[,] such as the attacks on trucks carrying famine relief. …
196. I find that the attacks on the truck convoy on October 23, 1987 resulted in the destruction by the EPLF fighter[s] of food supplies totaling 450 tons of wheat capable of feeding 45,000 people for a month. I find that these acts meet the definition of crimes against humanity in that the destruction of food and the means to deliver that food to victims of famine is an inhumane act by withholding food[,] the most basic necessity for life.
197. In addition, Africa Watch in an article dated April 30, 1991 appearing in The Times accused the EPLF of using hunger as a weapon when the EPLF refused to allow safe passage of relief services from the city of Assab … The acts, which are offences under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, were perpetrated in a widespread and systematic fashion against a civilian population.
198. … I find that the withholding of food by the destruction of famine relief supplies, deportation and expulsion are inhumane acts as set out in the definition for “crimes against humanity” under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act. 
Canada, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, XXXX case, Reasons and Decision, 17 January 2011, §§ 158, 166 and 196–198.
Canada
In 2013, in the Sapkota case, Canada’s Federal Court dismissed a request for review of a decision denying refugee protection to the applicant on grounds of complicity in crimes against humanity in Nepal between 1991 and 2009. While reviewing the submissions of the respondent, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Court stated: “The Respondent notes that the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court … is endorsed in Canada as a source of customary law.” 
Canada, Federal Court, Sapkota case, Reasons for Judgment and Judgment, 15 July 2013, § 28.
Israel
In its judgment in the Albasyouni case in 2008, concerning a petition regarding the Israeli Government’s decision to reduce or limit the supply of fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated:
13. … The Respondents also referred to Article 70 of the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, of 1977 … which represents, in their opinion, international customary law, and which sets forth a general and broader obligation, whereby the parties to the conflict must allow the rapid and unimpeded passage of vital goods to the civilian population …
15. The above indicates, therefore, that the Respondents do not disagree that they are bound by the humanitarian obligations imposed upon them, which require the State of Israel to allow passage of vital humanitarian goods to the Gaza Strip. 
Israel, High Court of Justice, Albasyouni case, Judgment, 30 January 2008, §§ 13 and 15.
Israel
In its judgment in the Gisha case in 2008, concerning a petition regarding the Israeli Government’s decision to reduce or limit the supply of fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated:
8. … We … held [in the Albasyouni case in January 2008] that Israeli and international law do not require the respondent to allow the transfer of unlimited quantities of fuel into the Gaza Strip. Therefore, in these circumstances, the contention – whereby that periodic closing of the crossings, resulting from attempts to carry out attacks and from attacks carried out by the terrorist organizations, requires removal of all the quantity restrictions on supply of fuel to the Gaza Strip – should be rejected.
10. … The great danger to the lives of the soldiers and civilians who are posted at the crossings and operate them requires, at times, the closing of the crossings, in a way that disrupts the ability to transfer the fuel and other products to the Gaza Strip. In the framework of the necessary balancing resulting from the state’s obligation to enable the transfer of the fuel at the crossing as required by our judgment, and its obligation to protect the lives of its civilian population and its soldiers, the state is not required to take upon itself opening of the crossing and movement of the fuel in a situation that creates a real threat to life. Also, it is not proper to require the respondent to transfer an unlimited quantity of fuel during the few hours of calm, in a way that exposes the crossings to repeated attacks at other times.
11. … In these circumstances, the obvious conclusion is that the difficulties and the disruptions in the transfer of the various kinds of fuel to the Gaza Strip are not the result of the Cabinet decision on restricting the quantities of fuel transferred to the Gaza Strip or of the manner of the implementation of this decision by the respondent, but as a result of the actions of the Hamas government and from the security constraints created as a result of the events caused by the Palestinian side. Therefore, we do not deem it proper to change our judgment in Albasyouni, and we stress that, in implementing it, the respondent may take into account the existence of circumstances that create a real and substantial threat to life. 
Israel, High Court of Justice, Gisha case, Judgment, 5 June 2008, §§ 8 and 10–11.
Israel
In its judgment in Physicians for Human Rights v. Prime Minister of Israel in 2009, concerning the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip consequent to the start of Israeli military operations (“Cast Lead”) there in December 2008, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated:
[T]he protections given to the civilian population of all of the parties to the conflict also include the duty to allow free passage of humanitarian medical supplies, as well as consignments of essential foodstuffs and clothing for children, pregnant women and mothers at the earliest opportunity, subject to several restrictions (art. 23 of the [1949] Fourth Geneva Convention). Article 70 of the First Protocol [1977 Additional Protocol I] provides a more general and broader duty, whereby parties to a conflict are obliged to allow the passage of articles that are essential for the civilian population, at the earliest opportunity and without delay. Article 30 of the Fourth Geneva Convention requires parties to a conflict to allow citizens to contact the Red Cross or similar international organizations, in order to receive assistance. 
Israel, High Court of Justice, Physicians for Human Rights v. Prime Minister of Israel, Judgment, 19 January 2009, § 21.
South Africa
In 1987, in the Petane case, the Cape Provincial Division of South Africa’s Supreme Court dismissed the accused’s claim that the 1977 Additional Protocol I reflected customary international law. The Court stated:
The accused has been indicted before this Court on three counts of terrorism, that is to say, contraventions of s 54(1) of the Internal Security Act 74 of 1982. He has also been indicted on three counts of attempted murder.
The accused’s position is stated to be that this Court has no jurisdiction to try him.
… The point in its early formulation was this. By the terms of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I to the [1949] Geneva Conventions the accused was entitled to be treated as a prisoner-of-war. A prisoner-of-war is entitled to have notice of an impending prosecution for an alleged offence given to the so-called “protecting power” appointed to watch over prisoners-of-war. Since, if such a notice were necessary, the trial could not proceed without it, Mr Donen suggested that the necessity or otherwise for giving such a notice should be determined before evidence was led. …
On 12 August 1949 there were concluded at Geneva in Switzerland four treaties known as the Geneva Conventions. …
South Africa was among the nations which concluded the treaties. … Except for the common art 3, which binds parties to observe a limited number of fundamental humanitarian principles in armed conflicts not of an international character, they apply to wars between States.
After the Second World War many conflicts arose which could not be characterised as international. It was therefore considered desirable by some States to extend and augment the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, so as to afford protection to victims of and combatants in conflicts which fell outside the ambit of these Conventions. The result of these endeavours was Protocol I and Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions, both of which came into force on 7 December 1978.
Protocol II relates to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts. Since the State of affairs which exists in South Africa has by Protocol I been characterised as an international armed conflict, Protocol II does not concern me at all.
The extension of the scope of art 2 of the Geneva Conventions was, at the time of its adoption, controversial. …
The article has remained controversial. More debate has raged about its field of operation than about any other articles in Protocol I. …
South Africa is one of the countries which has not acceded to Protocol I. Nevertheless, I am asked to decide, as I indicated earlier, as a preliminary point, whether Protocol I has become part of customary international law. If so, it is argued that it would have been incorporated into South African law. If it has been so incorporated it would have to be proved by one or other of the parties that the turmoil which existed at the time when the accused is alleged to have committed his offences was such that it could properly be described as an “armed conflict” conducted by “peoples” against a “ra[c]ist regime” in the exercise of their “right of self-determination”. Once all this has been shown it would have to be demonstrated to the Court that the accused conducted himself in such a manner as to become entitled to the benefits conferred by Protocol I on combatants, for example that, broadly speaking, he had, while he was launching an attack, distinguished himself from civilians and had not attacked civilian targets. …
… I am prepared to accept that where a rule of customary international law is recognised as such by international law it will be so recognised by our law.
To my way of thinking, the trouble with the first Protocol giving rise to State practice is that its terms have not been capable of being observed by all that many States. At the end of 1977 when the treaty first lay open for ratification there were few States which were involved in colonial domination or the occupation of other States and there were only two, South Africa and Israel, which were considered to fall within the third category of ra[c]ist regimes. Accordingly, the situation sought to be regulated by the first Protocol was one faced by few countries; too few countries in my view, to permit any general usage in dealing with armed conflicts of the kind envisaged by the Protocol to develop.
Mr Donen contended that the provisions of multilateral treaties can become customary international law under certain circumstances. I accept that this is so. There seems in principle to be no reason why treaty rules cannot acquire wider application than among the parties to the treaty.
Brownlie Principles of International Law 3rd ed at 13 agrees that non-parties to a treaty may by their conduct accept the provisions of a multilateral convention as representing general international law. …
I incline to the view that non-ratification of a treaty is strong evidence of non-acceptance.
It is interesting to note that the first Protocol makes extensive provision for the protection of civilians in armed conflict. …
In this sense, Protocol I may be described as an enlightened humanitarian document. If the strife in South Africa should deteriorate into an armed conflict we may all one day find it a cause for regret that the ideologically provocative tone of s 1(4) has made it impossible for the Government to accept its terms.
To my mind it can hardly be said that Protocol I has been greeted with acclaim by the States of the world. Their lack of enthusiasm must be due to the bizarre mixture of political and humanitarian objects sought to be realised by the Protocol. …
According to the International Review of the Red Cross (January/February 1987) No 256, as at December 1986, 66 States were parties to Protocol I and 60 to Protocol II, which, it will be remembered, deals with internal non-international armed conflicts. With the exception of France, which acceded only to Protocol II, not one of the world’s major powers has acceded to or ratified either of the Protocols. This position should be compared to the 165 States which are parties to the Geneva Conventions.
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status o[f] customary international [law].
I have not been persuaded by the arguments which I have heard on behalf of the accused that the assessment of Professor Dugard, writing in the Annual Survey of South African Law (1983) at 66, that “it is argued with growing conviction that under contemporary international law members of SWAPO [South-West Africa People’s Organisation] and the ANC [African National Congress] are members of liberation movements entitled to prisoner-of-war status, in terms of a new customary rule spawned by the 1977 Protocols”, is correct. On what I have heard in argument I disagree with his assessment that there is growing support for the view that the Protocols reflect a new rule of customary international law. No writer has been cited who supports this proposition. Here and there someone says that it may one day come about. I am not sure that the provisions relating to the field of application of Protocol I are capable of ever becoming a rule of customary international law, but I need not decide that point today.
For the reasons which I have given I have concluded that the provisions of Protocol I have not been accepted in customary international law. They accordingly form no part of South African law.
This conclusion has made it unnecessary for me to give a decision on the question of whether rules of customary international law which conflict with the statutory or common law of this country will be enforced by its courts.
In the result, the preliminary point is dismissed. The trial must proceed. 
South Africa, Supreme Court, Petane case, Judgment, 3 November 1987, pp. 2–8.
South Africa
In 2010, in the Boeremag case, South Africa’s North Gauteng High Court stated:
In Petane, … Conradie J found that the provisions of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I are not part of customary international law, and therefore are also not part of South African law.
Referring to the fact that in December 1986 only 66 of the 165 States party to the Geneva Conventions had ratified Protocol I, the Court [in Petane] stated:
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status of customary international law.
Important changes with respect to certain aspects applicable at the time of Petane have taken place. The ANC [African National Congress] has become South Africa’s ruling party and in 1995 ratified Protocol I. The total number of States that have ratified it, is now … 162.
This last aspect forms the basis on which the First Respondent [the State] and the applicants agree that Protocol I forms part of customary international law as well as of South African law. As requested, this position is accepted for the purposes of the decision, without deciding on the matter.
Despite these changes, it remains debatable whether the provisions of Protocol I have become a part of South African law in this way.
The consensus of both parties to the conflict is required. See Petane … and Article 96 of Protocol I. …
Parliament’s failure to incorporate Protocol I into legislation in accordance with Article 231(4) of the Constitution in fact points to the contrary, and is indicative that the requirements of usus and/or opinio juris have not been met. See Petane. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, pp. 21–22.
[footnotes in original omitted]
The Court also held:
If the [1977 Additional Protocol I] applies in South Africa as customary international law, the two requirements that form the basis of customary law must be met. It is arguable that the requirement of usus has been met by the vast number of States that have acceded or ratified it. By ratifying Protocol I the Republic of South Africa has indicated its intention to apply the Protocol, thereby fulfilling the requirement of opinio juris. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, p. 66.
Australia
In 2009, in a ministerial statement before the House of Representatives on the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs stated:
[The] UN Secretary-General … has repeated his call for UN humanitarian teams to gain access to the conflict zone to assess the full extent of the civilians’ situation in the area. Australia strongly supports this call. There is no justification for refusing to allow the United Nations and key humanitarian aid agencies full access to affected areas. 
Australia, House of Representatives, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ministerial statement: Humanitarian Crisis in Sri Lanka, Hansard, 12 May 2009, p. 3501.
Australia
In 2010, in a statement on Somalia before the UN Human Rights Council, Australia’s representative stated: “We call on all parties to allow the safe delivery of food to vulnerable populations, particularly given the severe drought conditions in some parts of the country.” 
Australia, Statement before the UN Human Rights Council, 13th Regular Session, interactive dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia, 24 March 2010.
Bangladesh
In 2010, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh stated: “My delegation condemns all violations of international humanitarian and human rights law and stresses the need to … safeguard access for humanitarian assistance”. 
Bangladesh, Statement by the Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh before the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 7 July 2010.
Belgium
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.
Belgium
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.
Belgium
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.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In an appeal in 1992, the Presidency of the Republika Srpska of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared: “We shall make efforts to provide, as soon as possible, conditions for operations of the Red Cross and of other humanitarian organizations.” 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Appeal of the Presidency concerning the International Committee of the Red Cross Operations, Pale, 7 June 1992.
Canada
In a report to Parliament in 2007 on Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, the Government of Canada stated: “In partnership with Afghan officials and the United Nations, Canadian Forces have … provided the security and stability essential for delivering humanitarian assistance to people in need, such as the distribution of food.” 
Canada, Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan: Measuring Progress, Report to Parliament, Government of Canada, 26 February 2007, p. 7.
Canada
In 2011, in a statement before the UN Human Rights Council on the situation in Libya, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs stated:
We are … concerned by the looming humanitarian disaster in Libya. The [United Nations] Security Council has demanded that the Libyan regime allow the safe passage of humanitarian and medical supplies. Canada stands ready to provide assistance to the Libyan people. 
Canada, Address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs before the UN Human Rights Council, 28 February 2011.
Canada
In 2011, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the deputy permanent representative of Canada stated:
Mr. President, humanitarian access is also an important component of a protection strategy. Humanitarian actors require full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to populations in need of assistance. The access challenges facing humanitarian workers in Libya highlight the challenges that remain. Canada calls on the Council to continue efforts to systematically monitor and analyse constraints on humanitarian access. 
Canada, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Canada before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 10 May 2011.
Canada
In 2013, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the deputy permanent representative of Canada stated:
The conflict in Syria continues to take a terrible toll on the civilian population. … There are now four million people who require humanitarian assistance and half of these are children. …
Humanitarian organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations Agencies and many local Syrian organizations are making heroic efforts to meet the urgent lifesaving needs of those affected by the violence. Their efforts are to be commended. However, these efforts continue to be obstructed by the regime. Canada, along with the international community, calls on those in position of power in Syria to immediately ensure full, safe and unhindered access to all communities in Syria so humanitarian actors can do their life-saving work. This includes expediting administrative, visa, travel and custom procedures in order to facilitate the rapid and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid. 
Canada, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Canada before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 12 February 2013.
Canada
In 2013, Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development issued a press release entitled “Canada Outlines Humanitarian Assistance in Response to Syrian Crisis”, which stated: “Canada continues to call on all parties to the conflict to guarantee humanitarian access and allow for the safe delivery of emergency relief to those who need help the most.” 
Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, “Canada Outlines Humanitarian Assistance in Response to Syrian Crisis”, Press Release, 28 August 2013.
Canada
In 2013, during a meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs stated: “Canada remains deeply concerned about the escalating humanitarian crisis in Syria. We continue to call on all parties to the conflict to provide full, safe, and unhindered access for humanitarian actors.” 
Canada, Remarks by the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People, 26 September 2013.
Canada
In 2013, Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development issued a press release entitled “Canada outlines humanitarian assistance in response to Syrian crisis”, which stated:
The escalating conflict in Syria continues to have devastating humanitarian consequences in Syria and surrounding countries. …
“The Syrian people have been subject to appalling levels of violence and brutality and we continue to call on all parties to the conflict to provide unhindered humanitarian access and allow for the safe delivery of emergency relief to those in need,” added Minister Paradis. 
Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, “Canada outlines humanitarian assistance in response to Syrian crisis”, Press Release, 10 October 2013.
Canada
In 2013, Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development issued a press release entitled “Statement from Minister Paradis: Canada Stands with International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as they Call for Safe Passage for Humanitarian Workers”, which stated:
The situation in Syria has steadily deteriorated over the past year, bringing dire consequences for the people and communities of that country. Canada has repeatedly called on all parties to take immediate steps to facilitate the expansion of humanitarian relief operations and lift impediments. 
Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, “Statement from Minister Paradis: Canada Stands with International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as they Call for Safe Passage for Humanitarian Workers”, Press Release, 1 November 2013.
Canada
In 2013, Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development issued a press release entitled “[Foreign Affairs Minister] Baird Condemns Air Strikes on Syrian Civilians”, which stated: “Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement: ‘ … Canada calls on all parties to adhere to international human rights obligations and to provide full and unhindered humanitarian access and emergency relief to those in need’.” 
Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, “[Foreign Affairs Minister] Baird Condemns Air Strikes on Syrian Civilians”, Press Release, 24 December 2013.
Colombia
The Report on the Practice of Colombia refers to a draft internal working paper in which the Colombian Government stated: “The accomplishment of the functions of humanitarian organizations shall be facilitated.” 
Report on the Practice of Colombia, 1998, Chapter 4.1, referring to Presidential Council, Proposal of the Government to the Coordinator Guerrillerra Simón Bolívar to humanize war, Draft Internal Working Paper, Part entitled “El Derecho Internacional Humanitario”, § 8.
Cuba
In 2010, in a statement before the UN General Assembly on the situation in the Middle East, the deputy permanent representative of Cuba stated:
We reiterate the call on the international community to demand that the Israeli authorities immediately … open the border crossings and allow the free flow of supplies to and from the Gaza Strip. [Israel] … must guarantee permanent humanitarian access and comply with the legal obligations arising from the [1949] Fourth Geneva Convention and relevant resolutions of the United Nations. 
Cuba, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Cuba before the UN General Assembly on Item 36: The Situation in the Middle East, 30 November 2010, p. 1.
France
In 2009, the President of the French Republic stated:
We cannot resign ourselves to the suffering of millions of women and men who are victims of wars …
We would like to give priority to … strengthening the international consensus about the access of humanitarian personnel to the population in distress. 
France, Address by the President of the French Republic on the 90th Anniversary of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 4 May 2009, p. 2.
Germany
In April 1999, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs called upon the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to guarantee that humanitarian assistance could reach Kosovo and those who were on the verge of starvation. 
Germany, Federal Foreign Office, Press Release, Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on humanitarian assistance to Kosovo, 6 April 1999, Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, Vol. 2, 1999, p. 366.
Germany
In 2004, during a debate in the UN Security Council, the representative of Germany stated:
On the basis of the new report of the Secretary-General that we are considering today, I would like to share with the Council a catalogue of three areas for measures to move our protection agenda forward.
The first area is the protection of women and children …
The second area is humanitarian access and the security of humanitarian personnel. Various crises and emergency situations in recent years have shown that humanitarian access and the security of humanitarian personnel are linked. A lack of security for humanitarian personnel results in the prevention of access to vulnerable populations in need. The consequences of the horrendous attack on the United Nations office in Baghdad in August 2003 showed that quite plainly. The Security Council reacted without delay through the adoption of resolution 1502 (2003). Germany supports efforts aimed at enlarging the scope of protection of the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel. Measures taken to ensure adequate security for humanitarian personnel will lead to better humanitarian access and thus to the better protection of civilians. In addition, the role that neighbouring States and regional organizations have in helping to establish humanitarian access may be further explored.
Thirdly, regarding refugees and internally displaced persons, in general, their situation must be improved …
Germany thus proposes the following measures.
The first is a new resolution on the protection of civilians; the most recent resolution that the Security Council adopted on the protection of civilians in armed conflict (resolution 1296 (2000)) dates from 2000. That resolution, as well as the preceding relevant resolution (resolution 1265 (1999)), were regarded as a starting point. After four years we feel the need for an update of the most recent resolution, to take into account recent developments and the changing character of conflicts. Germany would support efforts aimed at adopting a new resolution.
A second measure would be more frequent reporting by the Emergency Relief Coordinator …
A third measure would be the promotion of the responsibility of new actors. There are new actors in the area of the protection of civilians in armed conflict whom we have to deal with. More than ever before, we need constructive engagement with non-State armed groups. They not only have the potential to deny humanitarian actors humanitarian access; they actually do it. They are also a potential source of harm to the civilian populations where they operate. Without legitimizing them and their actions, we must explore innovative ways to engage them in a constructive dialogue and, where necessary, to pressure them to make them abide by international humanitarian law and human rights norms. 
Germany, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.4990, 14 June 2004, pp. 24–25.
Germany
In 2004, during a debate in the UN Security Council, the representative of Germany stated:
We welcome the fact that, after long and difficult negotiations, the Council has adopted this resolution [UN Security Council Resolution 1556] …
We hold the Government of the Sudan responsible for the security of all 1.5 million people at risk in Darfur and for the unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid.
Let us not be misunderstood. Our goal is to stop the suffering and the killing of innocent civilians. We expect all parties, the rebel side as much as the Government of the Sudan, to fulfil their obligations. 
Germany, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.5015, 30 July 2004, p. 7.
Germany
In 2004, during a debate in the UN Security Council, the representative of Germany stated:
On this occasion, Germany would like to propose three points that we deem to be of crucial importance concerning areas where the need for progress is urgent … We propose the following.
First, let us put an end to impunity …
My second point is that we should better address the issue of humanitarian access, as some previous speakers have already pointed out. As the Secretary-General pointed out in his most recent report (S/2004/431), humanitarian access is either denied or obstructed for more than 10 million people around the world. Given such a number, my delegation finds it difficult to understand why we have to fight so hard in the General Assembly and in the Economic and Social Council to include proper language on access in resolutions concerning humanitarian assistance.
Humanitarian access has a single goal: to help people who are in critical need. No humanitarian action, no humanitarian staff member, intends to violate the sovereignty of States. Sovereignty is not a predominant issue for the humanitarian community, but it is a crucial point for those who deny access or link access to prior approval by the State concerned. That conflict of perceptions determines our humanitarian discussions and actions. Our energies are siphoned off by legalistic skirmishes, when instead we should be acting in concert to reach a broad-based operational approach. We believe that the vulnerable and those who suffer merit a more effective decision-making process among ourselves.
We appreciate the recommendations contained in the report of the High-level Panel on viable, practical measures such as training for political and peacekeeping representatives to negotiate access and the use by the Security Council of special field missions or other diplomatic measures to enhance access and the protection of civilians.
Let me end my remarks by reiterating our position: we believe that a new resolution on the protection of civilians would be a feasible option for the Council. I say that, bearing in mind that many of the points raised by the excellent Security Council resolutions 1265 (1999) and 1296 (2000) still await implementation. However, we believe that the changing character of conflict and the development of new threats, new institutions and new tools to engage more effectively in assistance should be reflected in an operational text adopted by the Council. 
Germany, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.5100, 14 December 2004, pp. 18–19.
Germany
In 2009, in reply to a Minor Interpellation in the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament) entitled “Gaza War”, Germany’s Federal Government wrote:
2. a) Is it correct that the Federal Government still considers the Gaza-Strip as territory occupied by Israel?
b) If so, does the Federal Government share the view that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians constitutes an international armed conflict?
c) If not, why not?
On 12 September 2005, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip after 38 years. However, it continues to exercise control over the borders and airspace of the Gaza Strip. The Federal Government is thus of the view that the civilian population in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel is protected by international humanitarian law, in particular the [1949] Geneva Convention IV relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. This remains the case as long as Israel is exercising effective control over the Gaza Strip as occupying power. Therefore, in the Federal Government’s view, the provisions of the Geneva Convention IV relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War apply to the armed confrontations between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. 
Germany, Lower House of Federal Parliament (Bundestag), Reply by the Federal Government to the Minor Interpellation by the Members Dr. Norman Paech, Monika Knoche, Wolfgang Gehrcke, further Members and the Parliamentary Group DIE LINKE, BT-Drs. 16/12087, 27 February 2009, p. 3.
The Federal Government further stated:
8. a) What measures is the Federal Government taking to achieve the opening of the borders with Gaza by the Israeli government, [and] to ensure that basic necessities are provided to the people living in Gaza, noting that during the blockade basic necessities were provided through tunnels which were also used to smuggle weapons … ?
The Federal Government and the EU strongly advocate that the Gaza Strip be provided with sufficient humanitarian relief and that access be given to humanitarian personnel … In 2009 the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development have already made available 13.5 million euros for humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip. 
Germany, Lower House of Federal Parliament (Bundestag), Reply by the Federal Government to the Minor Interpellation by the Members Dr. Norman Paech, Monika Knoche, Wolfgang Gehrcke, further Members and the Parliamentary Group DIE LINKE, BT-Drs. 16/12087, 27 February 2009, p. 5; see also p. 6.
Germany
In 2009, Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister stated: “I appeal urgently to all conflict parties in Sri Lanka to ensure the protection of the civilian population and adhere to international humanitarian law. International aid organizations must be granted access to all refugees immediately. It is especially important that these people receive the medicines they desperately need.” 
Germany, Statement by the Federal Foreign Minister on the protection of civilians in Sri Lanka, 23 April 2009.
Germany
In 2009, at a ceremony commemorating “150 years since Solferino”, Germany’s Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office stated: “Wherever possible, it has to be our goal to gain the acceptance of the parties to the conflict for humanitarian assistance.” 
Germany, Speech by the Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office on the occasion of a ceremony commemorating “150 years since Solferino”, 26 June 2009.
India
In 2008, in a statement on the situation in Sri Lanka, the Minister of External Affairs of India stated:
The situation in Sri Lanka remains a matter of grave concern to us in India. We are particularly worried about the humanitarian effect of the continuing conflict on civilians who have been caught up in circumstances not of their making. It is essential that … food and other essential supplies be allowed to reach them. 
India, Statement by the Minister of External Affairs on the situation in Sri Lanka, 16 October 2008.
India
In 2008, in a statement in Parliament on the situation in Sri Lanka, the Minister of External Affairs of India stated:
The situation in Sri Lanka is of serious concern to the Government, in particular the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the northern part of Sri Lanka. … We have emphasised to the Sri Lankan Government that … food and essential supplies be allowed to reach them unhindered. 
India, Statement by the Minister of External Affairs in Parliament on the situation in Sri Lanka, 22 October 2008.
India
In 2008, in a statement on the situation in Gaza, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs of India stated:
The Government of India condemns the recent upsurge of violence in the Gaza Strip and remains concerned at the adverse effects of the closure of access points into the Strip on the prevailing humanitarian situation. There can be no justification for the denial of essential supplies including such as food and fuel to the civilian population of the Gaza Strip numbering over 700,000 persons. 
India, Statement by the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs on the situation in Gaza, 17 November 2008.
India
In 2009, in a statement during a debate in the Lower House of Parliament (Lok Sabha) on the situation in Sri Lanka, the Minister of External Affairs and Minister of Finance of India stated:
A serious source of concern to us has been the condition of the civilians and internally displaced persons (IDPs), mostly Tamil, caught up in the zone of conflict. Estimates on the number of civilians trapped vary, but 70,000 or so are estimated to be there now. The LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] were reportedly using them as human shields.
Hon. Members may rest assured that our strong concerns for the safety, security and welfare of the civilians caught in the conflict have led us to stay actively engaged to prevent a further deterioration of humanitarian conditions. We have sent relief supplies to the civilians and the internally displaced persons (IDPs), facilitated access by international and UN organisations, and suggested ways for civilians and IDPs to escape from the conflict zone. 
India, Statement by the Minister of External Affairs and Minister of Finance during a debate in the Lower House of Parliament (Lok Sabha) on the situation in Sri Lanka, 18 February 2009.
India
In 2009, in answer to a written question in the Lower House of Parliament (Lok Sabha) regarding Sri Lanka, India’s Minister of External Affairs stated:
External Affairs Minister of India visited Sri Lanka on 27th January 2009. … He also took up India’s concerns for the safety, security and welfare of the civilians with President Mahinda Rajapaksa … He was assured that the Government of Sri Lanka would take all necessary measures to minimize the effects of the conflict on Tamil civilians including providing uninterrupted relief supplies. 
India, Answer by the Minister of External Affairs to written question 226 in the Lower House of Parliament (Lok Sabha) regarding Sri Lanka, 18 February 2009.
India
In 2009, India’s High Commission issued a press release entitled “Statement of External Affairs Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee on appeal to Government of Sri Lanka to work out safe passage for trapped civilians”, which stated:
There are reports that over 70,000 civilians are trapped in the conflict zone in Sri Lanka and there is acute shortage of food, water and medicines. Many innocent lives have been lost in the conflict zone. The Government of India has repeatedly expressed its concern for the security and passage to safe zones of the civilian population.
The pause in hostilities must be utilised to facilitate the movement of Tamil population out of the war-affected areas to secure locations where proper rehabilitation is possible and international aid organisations, as also the ICRC, have free access and scope to provide medical and other forms of humanitarian aid. Government of India is making arrangements to send an emergency medical unit and medicines to render medical assistance to internally displaced persons in Northern Sri Lanka. 
India, High Commission of India, “Statement of External Affairs Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee on appeal to Government of Sri Lanka to work out safe passage for trapped civilians”, Press Release, 28 February 2009.
Ireland
In 2008, Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, in a written response to a question on foreign conflicts, stated:
Since 4 November, Israel has effectively closed all border crossings for commercial goods, and even for humanitarian supplies. I understand, however, that the situation has improved somewhat in recent days and that Israel has allowed more vital supplies, including fuel, to be delivered to the people of Gaza. This is a welcome development but the population of 1.5 million people continue to face virtually unsustainable conditions.
I raised the situation in Gaza with EU partners at both the meeting of the General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels on 8 December and a Foreign Ministers’ discussion which took place en marge of the European Council on 11–12 December. Ireland was instrumental in ensuring that the Council Conclusions adopted on 8 December call for the humanitarian situation in Gaza to be addressed with all urgency, as well as stating that crossings should be opened for the supply of goods and services, and that the ability of the UN Works and Relief Agency (UNWRA) to deliver humanitarian assistance should be assured. …
Ireland also raised the situation in Gaza during the Universal Periodic Review of Israel at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 4 December, calling on Israel to respect its obligations under international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.  
Ireland, Dáil Eireann (House of Deputies), Minister for Foreign Affairs, Written Answers – Foreign Conflicts (3), Dáil Eireann debate Vol. 671 No. 1, 17 December 2008.
Ireland
In 2009, Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, in a written response to a question on the situation in Sri Lanka, stated:
As I have stated on many occasions in this House, I am deeply concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka. The immediate priority is still the welfare of the 280,000 or so Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) currently being held in IDP camps in the north of the country. There is urgent need for unimpeded access by humanitarian agencies. 
Ireland, Dáil Eireann (House of Deputies), Minister for Foreign Affairs, Written Answers – Foreign Conflicts (3), Dáil Eireann debate Vol. 690 No. 1, 23 September 2009.
Israel
According to the Report on the Practice of Israel, it is the policy of Israel “to cooperate with all international humanitarian agencies and organisations, both in time of peace and in time of war”. 
Report on the Practice of Israel, 1997, Chapter 4.2.
Israel
In 2008, at a press conference on Israel’s operations in Gaza, Israel’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs stated:
Israel left the Gaza Strip and, from our perspective this was, or should have been, the end of an occupation, according to international law as well. But there are crossings and there is a border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, and according to our values and our responsibility these crossings are open for humanitarian needs. 
Israel, Press conference by the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, 31 December 2008.
Israel
In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
266. At the same time that the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] was taking substantial precautions to minimise civilian casualties, it was also implementing a far-reaching effort to ensure that the humanitarian needs of the civilian population in Gaza were met during the Gaza Operation. This humanitarian effort included several components:
- Ensuring continuous supplies of humanitarian aid through the crossing points, such as food, medical supplies and fuel.
- Coordination of evacuations and other humanitarian movements within the Gaza Strip and between Gaza and Israel.
- Unilateral suspensions of military operations to enable re-supply of the population and humanitarian relief activities.
- Ensuring the functioning of essential infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
267. A central aspect of the IDF humanitarian effort was coordination with the various humanitarian agencies and organisations. Humanitarian facilities were marked on IDF operational maps and aerial photographs according to information provided by the various organisations in advance. Furthermore, a joint coordination map was prepared, to create a common language for the IDF and the international organisations operating in Gaza. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, §§ 266–267.
The report also stated that “beginning 7 January 2009, the IDF unilaterally suspended military operations for at least three hours each day (“humanitarian pauses”), to enable re-supply of the population and other humanitarian relief activities”. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 276.
Jordan
The Report on the Practice of Jordan refers to an order issued in 1970 by the General Military Commander of the Jordanian armed forces which “accepted the international relief operations for population under opposition control”. 
Report on the Practice of Jordan, 1997, Chapter 4.1, referring to Military Order issued by the General Military Commander of the Jordanian armed forces, September 1970.
The report adds that free passage of essential goods intended for the civilian population of the adverse party was also allowed. 
Report on the Practice of Jordan, 1997, Chapter 4.1.
Kuwait
According to the Report on the Practice of Kuwait, it is the opinio juris of Kuwait that a State that is unable to guarantee the protection of the civilian population against starvation has to facilitate the distribution of external humanitarian aid. 
Report on the Practice of Kuwait, 1997, Chapter 4.1.
Mexico
In 2007, during a debate in the UN General Assembly on the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the UN, the permanent representative of Mexico stated:
Unfortunately, civilians are recurrent targets of warfare. The violence they suffer takes the form of terrible phenomena such as kidnappings, child exploitation and violence and sexual abuse against women and girls. Hence, we have the moral obligation to implement concrete measures to enable the Organization to alleviate these sufferings. Mexico is therefore concerned by the fact that the issue of access to civilians in armed conflicts is being interpreted as a question of interference without considering that this is … an obligation, under international law, of all parties. 
Mexico, Statement by the permanent representative at the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc A/62/PV.54, 19 November 2007, p. 10.
Mexico
In 2009, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, the permanent representative of Mexico stated:
My delegation is concerned by the fact that humanitarian work continues to be hindered, in particular in terms of access for humanitarian assistance and materials for rebuilding Gaza. In some cases, we see actions that are clear violations of international humanitarian law. 
Mexico, Statement by the permanent representative before the UN Security Council, 6100th meeting, UN Doc. S/PV.6100, 26 March 2009, p. 26.
Mexico
In 2009, during a debate in the UN Security Council on children and armed conflict, the permanent representative of Mexico stated: “Mexico calls on the international community to strengthen its efforts to protect children, in particular, … to guarantee humanitarian access in every situation.” 
Mexico, Statement by the permanent representative before the UN Security Council, 6114th meeting, UN Doc. S/PV.6114, 29 April 2009, p. 29.
Mexico
In 2009, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the permanent representative of Mexico stated: “We once again call on the Members of the Organization [i.e. the UN] to take every necessary measure to facilitate and guarantee the safe, unobstructed and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict.” 
Mexico, Statement by the permanent representative before the UN Security Council, 6151th meeting, UN Doc. S/PV.6151, 26 June 2009, p. 10.
Mexico
In 2009, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the permanent representative of Mexico stated:
International humanitarian law must be complied with, regardless of the type of armed conflict in question. The four Geneva Conventions of 1949, their Additional Protocols and other instruments of international humanitarian law, as well as customary international law, form a solid foundation of principles and norms that protect the life and dignity of all those who no longer participate in hostilities or who never have. …
It is clear that denying or blocking humanitarian assistance exacerbates the situation of populations in armed conflict. When humanitarian assistance is inadequate, given the cross-cutting nature of this topic, peacekeeping missions and the specialized agencies of the United Nations in conflict areas carry out the essential task of protecting civilians, and this should be acknowledged.
We also acknowledge the work carried out by humanitarian institutions, in particular the International Committee of the Red Cross, and by civil society, especially with respect to the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the importance of guaranteeing safe, timely and unimpeded access to humanitarian assistance in conflict and complex emergency situations.
Access of humanitarian assistance to civilians in armed conflict is a topic to which we attach particular importance, as it is a sine qua non for protection. As Mexico indicated during the debate in January (see S/PV.6066), my delegation would like to reiterate our disagreement with interpretations that can restrict or exclude human dignity in complex situations and that favour positions that set this humanitarian principle against the principle of sovereignty. 
Mexico, Statement by the permanent representative before the UN Security Council, 6216th meeting, UN Doc. S/PV.6216, 11 November 2009, p. 28.
Mexico
In 2010, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the permanent representative of Mexico stated:
Parties in armed conflicts barely comply with the obligation to permit and facilitate access of civilian populations to humanitarian assistance, subjecting them to greater risk. … The instruments of international humanitarian law are very clear about the obligations of States and parties in conflict to allow safe, timely and unhindered access to humanitarian assistance. 
Mexico, Statement by the permanent representative before the UN Security Council, 6427th meeting, UN Doc. S/PV.6427, 22 November 2010, p. 23.
Nepal
In 2004, in a declaration of commitment on the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law, the Prime Minister of Nepal stated: “The arrangement relating to the supply of human necessities of all types including food and medicines shall be ensured throughout the Kingdom.” 
Nepal, Declaration of commitment on the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law, 26 March 2004, § 13.
Netherlands
In an explanatory memorandum submitted to Parliament in the context of the ratification procedure of the 1977 Additional Protocols, the Government of the Netherlands, commenting on Article 70 of the Additional Protocol I, regretted that “it did not seem possible to oblige parties to the conflict to allow aid for the civilian population through without the parties’ explicit consent”. 
Netherlands, Lower House of Parliament, Explanatory memorandum on the ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocols, 1983–1984 Session, Doc. 18 277 (R 1247), No. 3, p. 35.
Netherlands
In a letter to the lower house of parliament concerning the crisis in the Great Lakes region in 1996, the Minister for Development Cooperation of the Netherlands argued in favour of the establishment of humanitarian corridors in Kivu in order to facilitate the distribution of food. 
Netherlands, Lower House of Parliament, Letter from the Minister for Development Cooperation on the crisis in the Great Lakes region, 1996–1997 Session, Doc. 25 098, No. 2.
Netherlands
In 2006, in reply to questions from the Parliament concerning the precarious situation of refugees in Lebanon, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands stated:
I share the opinion of Mr. Egeland that security while delivering humanitarian aid is essential. During a phone conversation with Israel I expressed my concerns about the worsening humanitarian situation and I have stressed the importance of a well-functioning humanitarian corridor. 
Netherlands, Lower House of Parliament, Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Handelingen, 2005–2006 Session, 30 August 2006, Appendix No. 2022, p. 4294.
Nigeria
In 1968, during the conflict in Biafra, the Nigerian Commissioner for Information and Labour insisted that Nigeria “would continue to stand by its promise to the International Committee of the Red Cross to keep some ‘corridors of mercy’ safe from military activities so that relief supplies could at any time be channelled through these corridors”. 
Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Information, Press Release No. F 1290, Lagos, 11 July 1968, Report on the Practice of Nigeria, 1997, Chapter 4.2.
Norway
In 2000, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the protection of humanitarian personnel in conflict areas, Norway stated that it welcomed the Council’s call for safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel to civilians in armed conflict. 
Norway, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV/4110, 9 February 2000, p. 10.
Philippines
The Guidelines on Evacuations adopted in 1991 by the Presidential Human Rights Committee of the Philippines provided: “Medicines and relief goods, whether coming from the government or non-government organizations, shall be given to the evacuees without delay.” 
Philippines, Presidential Human Rights Committee, Resolution No. 91-001 Providing for Guidelines on Evacuations, Manila, 26 March 1991, § 6.
Philippines
A circular from the Office of the President of the Philippines issued in 1991 stipulates:
Only in cases of tactical operations may control of the movement of non-combatants and the delivery of goods and services be imposed for safety reasons, provided that in no case should such control lead to the starvation of civilians. 
Philippines, Office of the President, Memorandum Circular No. 139 Prescribing the Guidelines for the Implementation of Memorandum Order No. 398, 26 September 1991, § 3.
Russian Federation
In 2012, in a statement before the UN Security Council during a meeting on the situation in the Middle East, the permanent representative of the Russian Federation stated:
Humanitarian organizations and agencies must have access to the sites in neighbouring countries where there are Syrian refugees, in order to properly assess the situation and provide appropriate assistance. … In general, humanitarian assistance must be carried out strictly within the framework of international law. 
Russian Federation, Statement by the permanent representative of the Russian Federation before the UN Security Council during a meeting on the situation in the Middle East, 30 August 2012.
Rwanda
On the basis of an interview with an army officer, the Report on the Practice of Rwanda emphasizes that humanitarian corridors are places used by humanitarian personnel, inter alia, to ensure access to the victims of hostilities so as to provide them with relief. 
Report on the Practice of Rwanda, 1997, Interview with an army officer, Chapter 1.8.
The fighting between the Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North … continue to cause human terror and catastrophe in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states of the Sudan. The conflicts have caused displacement of persons with limited humanitarian access.
… In situations of armed conflict, while the primary responsibility of the protection of civilians rests with the State, we equally remind non-State actors and the United Nations, including peacekeepers and other humanitarian actors, to prioritize the protection of civilians. Rwanda therefore calls upon the parties to fully observe strict compliance with international law, to avoid targeting civilian objects, to stop militarizing camps and to allow access to humanitarian assistance.
… We urge parties to armed conflict to exercise restraint in undertaking disproportionate attacks against civilian areas and to allow unrestricted humanitarian access, especially to the most vulnerable. All stakeholders, including United Nations agencies, peacekeepers and humanitarian agencies, should protect civilians and avoid politicizing humanitarian assistance. 
Rwanda, Statement by the Political Coordinator of Rwanda before the UN Security Council during a meeting on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, UN Doc. S/PV.7019, 19 August 2013, pp. 20–21.
South Africa
In 2010, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa stated: “The issue of humanitarian access will require further attention so as to find ways to ensure that those in need of life-saving assistance receive it and that those who provide it do so in a secure environment in which attacks on humanitarian workers are not tolerated.” 
South Africa, Statement by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 7 July 2010.
South Africa
In 2011, in an opening statement at the Eleventh Annual Regional Seminar on the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law in Pretoria, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa stated:
[W]ithin the debate of the protection of civilians, it remains vital to reflect on the necessity to allow safe and unimpeded access to the vulnerable communities. Just in the past few months we have again seen that if aid organisations are not allowed access to affected communities, those communities are not only traumatised, but are placed in desperate positions, with their basic rights of access to food and water being denied. Providing essential services on the respected humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartially and humanity remains critical when addressing the protection needs of civilians. 
South Africa, Opening statement by the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation at the Eleventh Annual Regional Seminar on the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law in Pretoria, 23 August 2011.
South Africa
In 2013, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, made on behalf of the members of the Human Security Network and on behalf of South Africa as an observer, the deputy permanent representative of Chile stated:
Despite the unrelenting efforts of the international community, civilians continue to account for the majority of casualties in armed conflicts. …
Full and unimpeded access of humanitarian assistance continues to be a sine qua non requirement for the relief of affected populations, including in particular the most vulnerable groups, such as women and children. 
South Africa, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Chile before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, made on behalf of the members of the Human Security Network and on behalf of South Africa as an observer, 19 August 2013, pp. 4–5.
South Africa remains gravely concerned about the devastating humanitarian crisis in Yemen. It took note of the report by the United Nations Humanitarian Office (OCHA) on 7 November 2017 and urges all parties to allow unhindered distribution of humanitarian supplies to all affected civilians in Yemen and comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law as applicable. 
South Africa, Department of International Relations and Cooperation, “South Africa condemns missile strike at King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia”, Press Release, 8 November 2017.
Sri Lanka
In 2008, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Sri Lanka stated:
83. In accordance with resolution 1612 and Section VI, paragraph 2 of the Terms of Reference of the Working Group on the Security Council on children and armed conflict, the TFMR [Task Force for Monitoring and Reporting] will focus on violations against children affected by armed conflict …
84. … [V]iolations and abuses committed against children affected by armed conflict including … denial of humanitarian access for children will … be addressed.
90. The Government is taking practical measures to address the issue of humanitarian access to children and civilian population affected by armed conflict. The high-level Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (CCHA) chaired by the Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights and attended by the key Government officials such as the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, heads of several UN Agencies, and Heads of Mission of several key donor countries and European Union, facilitates early clearances of requests for access and humanitarian assistance, as well as resolution of any issues or concerns that arise as a result of developments on the ground. Special attention is given to child related issues. 
Sri Lanka, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 15 February 2010, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/LKA/1, submitted 16 June 2008, §§ 83–84 and 90.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict Strategy (2009) states:
In many armed conflicts humanitarian access to the civilian population is heavily restricted. An operational response alone cannot resolve this problem. A variety of political means and a solid argumentation based on legal arguments must also be used.
Switzerland is committed – politically, legally and operationally – to ensuring rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access to civilians affected by armed conflicts. In statements to the Human Rights Council, the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, Switzerland regularly stresses the vital importance of gaining rapid and unimpeded access. It also uses its bilateral contacts with relevant authorities and with non-state armed groups to remind them of the importance of humanitarian access to civilians. In certain situations, Switzerland, together with its humanitarian partners, also maintains contact with the competent authorities in order to facilitate access to humanitarian actors working in conflict zones.
Switzerland has recently launched an initiative which aims to provide national authorities, international organisations and humanitarian actors working in the field with a range of practical tools, such as a guide on the normative framework underpinning humanitarian access in situations of armed conflict. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict Strategy, 2009, p. 12, text box.
One of the strategic objectives noted in the Strategy is that “[h]umanitarian access as well as the safety and security of all relevant operational actors are guaranteed”. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict Strategy, 2009, p. 16.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Humanitarian access
If the civilian population is not adequately provided with food supplies, international humanitarian law provides that relief actions which are humanitarian, impartial and non-discriminatory shall be undertaken, subject to the consent of the parties concerned. It also requires States to allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded access of relief consignments. Civilians have the right to turn to any organisation that could come to their aid. Despite this, humanitarian organisations often have no access to Civilians in need of assistance and protection in Armed conflicts, either because the parties to the conflict refuse permission, or because of geographical or logistical difficulties, bureaucratic obstacles or security considerations. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, pp. 22–23.
Switzerland
In 2009, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the permanent representative of Switzerland stated:
We welcome the appeal of the [UN] Security Council in its resolution 1860 of 8 January … for the unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza. … However, we are disappointed that the resolution makes no mention of the importance of respect for international humanitarian law. … It is by insisting on the strict application of international humanitarian law in situations of armed conflict that the Council will achieve better protection of civilians. The Security Council underlined itself in its Presidential Statement of 27 May 2008 the importance of … unhindered access of humanitarian personnel to provide assistance to civilians in armed conflict in accordance with international law.
Although our attention is currently turned towards the situation in Gaza, we should nevertheless not forget the other extremely worrying situations concerning the protection of civilians. … Finally, we remain extremely concerned about the situation in Darfur where humanitarian access remains a problem and where several incidents point to continuing violations of international law.
We are strongly aware that crisis situations, which are often extremely complex, demand specifically trained personnel, at times clarification, and the application of the law in order to respond to the demands on the ground.
It was from this perspective that Switzerland organised a meeting of experts at the beginning of July 2008 to identify the main difficulties concerning humanitarian access, and to reflect on ways to overcome them at the judicial, political and operational levels. Switzerland is in the process of examining the possible steps to take in the follow-up to this meeting, in particular the drafting of a practical guide for humanitarian actors which would make explicit and clarify the legal framework concerning humanitarian access in periods of armed conflict. 
Switzerland, Statement by the permanent representative of Switzerland before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 14 January 2009, pp. 6–7.
Switzerland
In 2009, in response to a motion before the Council of States by the Commission on Foreign Policy, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
The humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka is of the highest concern to the Federal Council. …
Humanitarian aid
The Federal Council considers that what is most urgent is to ensure respect for international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict, the protection of the civilian population and the rapid access of humanitarian organizations, without restriction. For this reason, Switzerland is actively engaged on the ground in delivering essential goods to displaced persons in Vanni, in ensuring their security and in promoting the access, without restriction, of international aid organizations. 
Switzerland, Council of States, Response by the Federal Council to Motion No. 09.3358, 13 May 2009, pp. 1–2.
Switzerland
In 2009, in response to a question by a member of the National Council, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
Humanitarian aid
The Federal Council considers that what is most urgent is to ensure the protection of the civilian population, in particular of evacuated victims of war and internally displaced [persons]. This is why Switzerland is actively engaged on the ground in ensuring that international aid organizations have access, without restriction, to these persons, that these persons have adequate support through the supply of food, medication and emergency shelter, and that they can return as quickly as possible to their region of origin, in safety and dignity. 
Switzerland, National Council, Response by the Federal Council to Question No. 09.1059, 19 August 2009, p. 2.
Switzerland
In 2009, in its Report on Foreign Policy, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
Humanitarian access in armed conflicts
One of the primary concerns of humanitarian law and policy is to guarantee access to victims and to provide assistance to them. However, it frequently occurs that one or several of the parties in conflict impede or prohibit access to these populations or that it is impossible to ensure the security of humanitarian actors. This was once more clearly evident in the Gaza Strip at the end of 2008 and at the beginning of 2009. Switzerland called upon all the parties to the conflict to allow rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access and to protect medical personnel, hospitals and other medical units. …
Often, one does not fully know with whom to negotiate access, nor on what basis. In order to clarify such questions, the FDFA [Federal Department of Foreign Affairs] organized on 30 June and 1 July 2008 in Montreux a meeting dedicated to the issue of humanitarian access in situations of armed conflict. The objective was to identify the main difficulties for access and to reflect on means to overcome these, whether at a legal, political or operational level. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on Foreign Policy 2009, 2 September 2009, Section 3.3.7.3, pp. 5811–5812; see also Section 3.3.7.2, p. 5808.
Switzerland
In 2010, in response to a question by a member of the National Council, Switzerland’s Federal Council wrote:
Faced with the difficult humanitarian situation in Gaza as a result of the blockade and particularly after the war in Gaza in 2009, Switzerland has on several occasions proposed establishing an international mechanism permitting regular access to the Gaza Strip in order to ensure provisions to and the reconstruction of this territory; a mechanism that takes into account the security needs of Israel. In accordance with the [1949] Geneva Conventions, the occupying power is under the obligation to permit humanitarian access. Switzerland further undertakes its consultations with several States on the modalities of an access regime to Gaza. It will continue to actively seek the support of its partners so that a regular and predictable access is put in place as fast as possible. The tragic incident that occurred on 31 May [2010] underlines the importance of establishing humanitarian access.  
Switzerland, National Council, Response by the Federal Council to Question No. 10.5235, 7 June 2010, p. 1; see also Switzerland, National Council, Response by the Federal Council to Question No. 10.5261, 7 June 2010, p. 1.
Switzerland
In 2010, in its Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
The following list offers a glimpse of the initiatives being carried out, or having been recently concluded, that aim to develop or reinforce the content of international humanitarian law:
- since 2009, Switzerland supports a research project that seeks to clarify remaining questions with regard to humanitarian access in situations of armed conflict (“Humanitarian Access in Situations of Armed Conflictˮ). The objective is to publish a legal manual to clarify the normative framework and a practical manual (field manual) on the topic. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, 17 September 2010, Section 5, pp. 25–27.
Switzerland
In 2010, in its Report on Foreign Policy, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated: “At the UN, Switzerland’s priorities on humanitarian matters are …, the guarantee of access without restrictions to zones of catastrophes and war for humanitarian actors and the guarantee of the security of the latter by the host state”. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on Foreign Policy 2010, 10 December 2010, Section 2.3, p. 1041.
The Federal Council also stated:
Switzerland notes that in the Gaza Strip, in particular, the humanitarian situation … has still not received a tangible response. The situation has deteriorated since the recent armed conflict (of December 2008 to January 2009). Switzerland regularly calls upon all the parties, including Israel as occupying power, to respect their obligations. …
Furthermore, Switzerland maintains the need to ensure access of humanitarian assistance to Gaza … , and it presented before the United Nations Security Council a project for the establishment of an independent mechanism to manage humanitarian assistance to Gaza. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on Foreign Policy 2010, 10 December 2010, Section 2.5, pp. 1025–1026; see also section 4.2.2, p. 1089.
The Federal Council further stated:
The question of access to the civilian population constitutes a central problem for humanitarian action. Switzerland makes a special effort to identify the obstacles to humanitarian access in situations of armed conflict, and to promote concrete instruments allowing to overcome these. A new initiative in this domain was launched in cooperation with the ICRC and OCHA [UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] in order to clarify the normative framework and to develop a manual on humanitarian access for operational actors. This initiative should begin to show results throughout 2010. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on Foreign Policy 2010, 10 December 2010, Section 4.2.4, p. 1103; see also section 4.2.5, p. 1104.
Switzerland
In 2012, in its Report on Foreign Policy 2011, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
Among the major challenges of humanitarian aid is also access to the civilian population. Switzerland focuses, in particular, on the identification of the obstacles that complicate humanitarian access in situations of armed conflict, and has launched, in cooperation with the ICRC and the [UN] Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), an initiative that should contribute to the clarification of the legal framework and to the formulation of a practical handbook for humanitarian actors. This initiative is part of Switzerland’s operational commitment to ensure better protection of the civilian population in conflict areas. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on Foreign Policy 2011, 18 January 2012, pp. 2770–2771.
Switzerland
In 2012, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs issued a press release entitled “Switzerland calls for an investigation into the massacre in Houla”, which stated:
Switzerland reiterates its support for the plan of the Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League, Kofi Annan, because its sees this as the only way to end the crisis in Syria peacefully. It demands that the Government of Syria implement all elements of the plan without delay, including giving humanitarian organisations access to the civilian victims. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, “Switzerland calls for an investigation into the massacre in Houla”, Press Release, 27 May 2012.
Switzerland
In 2012, in a statement before the UN Security Council during a debate on children and armed conflict, the permanent representative of Switzerland stated:
[T]he situation of children affected by armed conflict remains alarming on a global scale. Children continue … not to have access to humanitarian aid. In order to strengthen the protection of children affected by armed conflicts, two other types of grave violations should be added: … denial of access to humanitarian aid.
We need to increase the pressure applied to authors of violations who persist in their acts. To that end, it is indispensable that a close cooperation be established between the Security Council and the national and international courts seeking to end serious violations of international humanitarian law. 
Switzerland, Statement by the permanent representative of Switzerland before the UN Security Council during a debate on children and armed conflict, 19 September 2012.
Switzerland
In 2012, in a speech on the occasion of Public International Law Day, the head of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs stated:
The third major challenge I want to address is humanitarian access. Access to affected populations is today often refused by the parties or hindered in practice. Furthermore, in contemporary armed conflicts, securing and maintaining access for the purpose of helping and protecting civilians proves to be more and more difficult. Promoting rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access is therefore more than ever an absolute priority.
In light of these challenges, in 2009, Switzerland, in cooperation with other partners, launched an initiative on humanitarian access in situations of armed conflict. The goal was to provide national authorities, international organizations and humanitarian actors on the ground with some practical tools. Switzerland has thus developed a manual that summarizes relevant rules of international law and a guide that contains guidelines for humanitarian workers in the context of humanitarian access. Last month Switzerland organized a seminar in Amman with the humanitarian actors operating in the region, in order to present a methodology of how to ensure rapid and unimpeded access, while also offering ways to reflect on how to maintain it. 
Switzerland, Speech by the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs on the occasion of Public International Law Day, 19 October 2012.
Switzerland
In 2012, in a statement before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, the representative of Switzerland stated:
Another challenge to which Switzerland has actively committed itself is that of enabling humanitarian access. Access of humanitarian actors to civilian populations is a fundamental prerequisite for effective humanitarian action: in situations of armed conflict, numerous obstacles can complicate or even prevent such access. Switzerland, in collaboration with other partners, has published a handbook on the legal framework of humanitarian access, as well as a practical manual aimed at facilitating the operational aspects by outlining and promoting a structured approach, with guidelines for obtaining and maintaining humanitarian access. These instruments have been designed above all for the use of humanitarian actors in the field. 
Switzerland, Statement by the representative of Switzerland before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts, 22 October 2012.
Switzerland
In 2012, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs issued a press release entitled “The use of cluster munitions in Syria – FDFA Statement”, which stated:
Switzerland is extremely concerned about the many allegations of serious violations of international humanitarian law (IHL), and appeals to all parties in the conflict to ensure full compliance with their obligations. It is a matter of urgency that acts of violence and violations of IHL cease, and that humanitarian actors can gain access to the civilian population, which is exposed to the full impact of this prolonged armed conflict. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, “The use of cluster munitions in Syria – FDFA Statement”, Press Release, 24 October 2012.
Switzerland
In 2012, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs issued a press release entitled “Appeal by the Swiss authorities for compliance with international humanitarian law in Syria”, which stated:
International humanitarian law is applicable to non-international armed conflict.
4. International humanitarian law is applicable in non-international armed conflicts. All parties to the conflict are therefore obliged to respect its rules in all circumstances …
Appeal to respect international rules
6. Switzerland calls on all parties to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law in all circumstances and to take the necessary measures to prevent and stop violations of international humanitarian law.
9. Switzerland appeals to all parties to the conflict to ensure rapid and unimpe[de]d humanitarian access to populations in need. Moreover, the parties are subject to the obligation to respect and protect at all times fixed establishments and mobile medical units as well as all humanitarian actors. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, “Appeal by the Swiss authorities for compliance with international humanitarian law in Syria”, Press Release, 15 November 2012.
Switzerland
In 2013, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs issued the “Strategy on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts”, which stated:
Efforts to achieve rapid and unhindered humanitarian access
Humanitarian access is an indispensable prerequisite for all humanitarian action. Rapid and unhindered humanitarian access is essential in the early stages of an operation, in the dispatching of goods and personnel where they are most needed, in the distribution of humanitarian supplies and in the provision of healthcare services. Full access also enables the populations affected to fully receive the benefits of the aid and services provided to them. In many situations of armed conflicts, humanitarian access to the populations affected is a constant struggle. In modern armed conflicts, it is becoming increasingly difficult to secure and maintain humanitarian access to help and protect civilians.
In order to address this issue, Switzerland works in a concerted fashion at political, legal and operational levels to achieve humanitarian access. The importance of rapid and unhindered humanitarian access is regularly highlighted in UN debates as well as in bilateral discussions with the parties concerned. Moreover, Switzerland has worked with partner organisations to draft guidelines in an effort to secure and maintain humanitarian access (Handbook on the Normative Framework & Practitioners Manual on Humanitarian Access in Situations of Armed Conflict). These documents clarify and explain the normative framework and provide information and practical advice on humanitarian access to humanitarian aid workers on the ground. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Strategy on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, 2013, p. 18.
Switzerland
In 2013, in a statement before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the permanent representative of Switzerland stated:
Further, we would like to share our deep concern about the ever-worsening situation with regard to humanitarian access in Syria. It is unclear how the delivery of assistance is coordinated and implemented in disputed areas or so-called “areas under control of opposition groups”. We must therefore find ways to minimize pockets beyond the reach of aid. It is also extremely worrying that the safety of humanitarian workers is not guaranteed. We therefore urge all parties to respect their obligations and to grant rapid and unimpeded access to civilians in need.
Securing continued access is also pivotal in the context of Mali. Despite the speedy progress of military operations in Mali, we should not forget that the needs of vulnerable populations are significant. …
Non-state armed groups constitute a particular challenge with regard to compliance in most modern conflicts. There is a need to find a way to make sure these groups comply with their obligations and allow humanitarian access to populations in need of assistance. 
Switzerland, Statement by the permanent representative of Switzerland before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 12 February 2013.
Switzerland
In 2013, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs issued a press release entitled “Situation in the Syrian city of Al-Kusair – Statement of the FDFA”, which stated: “The civilian population must immediately be allowed to leave the area, and relief agencies must be permitted access to the victims in order to provide necessary aid.” 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, “Situation in the Syrian city of Al-Kusair – Statement of the FDFA”, Press Release, 3 June 2013.
Switzerland
In 2013 in a statement before the UN Human Rights Council during an interactive dialogue with the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria, the representative of Switzerland stated: “On the ground, the situation continues to deteriorate. It is therefore important that the parties to the conflict guarantee rapid and unimpeded access so that the humanitarian organizations can provide assistance to all the victims.” 
Switzerland, Statement by the representative of Switzerland before the UN Human Rights Council during an interactive dialogue with the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria, 4 June 2013.
Switzerland
In 2013, in a statement at the Humanitarian Affairs Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council, the ambassador of Switzerland stated:
Protection of and access to communities affected by armed conflict
Thirdly, Switzerland wishes to recall that rapid and unimpeded access to victims constitutes a cornerstone of international humanitarian law. It is the primary responsibility of States affected by conflict to allow access to, assistance for and protection of victims. Similarly, it is their responsibility to provide a humanitarian response to the basic needs of the affected communities, such as food, housing, health, clean water and protection. Furthermore, we are concerned about the high price paid by humanitarian staff when undertaking missions to save lives. We note in particular the regular attacks and threats against the medical mission, which prevent the delivery of adequate assistance to the wounded and sick. However, and as rightly noted in the Secretary-General’s report, humanitarian access should never be imposed by the use of force. A clear distinction must be made between humanitarian and security operations. The principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence must be at the heart of all humanitarian work, regardless of the actors involved. 
Switzerland, Statement by the ambassador of Switzerland at the Humanitarian Affairs Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council, 15 July 2013.
Switzerland
In 2013, in a statement before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the chargé d’affaires a.i. of Switzerland stated:
In many areas, access to the victims and affected populations is still a most complex challenge. Despite the existing legal framework, humanitarian actors face growing difficulties in gaining access to those affected. It is for this reason that Switzerland has initiated the drafting of two publications in conjunction with OCHA [UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] and the ICRC, the aim of which being to support the humanitarian actors in their efforts to obtain access to victims of armed conflict and to disseminate widely the existing legal framework that applies to humanitarian access issues. 
Switzerland, Statement by the chargé d’affaires a.i. of Switzerland before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 19 August 2013.
Switzerland
In 2013, in a statement before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, made on behalf of the Group of Friends on the Protection of Civilians, the chargé d’affaires a.i. of Switzerland stated:
Ensuring the protection of civilians in armed conflict is a task which requires our constant attention. … In particular, increasing numbers of humanitarian workers, including medical personnel, have been deliberately harmed or even killed recently; there is thus a clear need to find ways to improve their safety and security, while at the same time humanitarian access to reach those in most need must be maintained and negotiated with all relevant parties. Parties to conflict must allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage and distribution of humanitarian relief for civilians in need, in full compliance with the guiding principles of humanitarian assistance enshrined in [UN General Assembly Resolution] A/RES/46/182. We therefore deem progress on the question of access a highly urgent matter, as the imposition of constraints is often done in an arbitrary manner. More must be done, within the framework of the [1945] UN Charter, to ensure accountability but also prevent grave instances of deliberate delays or denials of access for humanitarian operations, as well as attacks against humanitarian workers. In this regard, we recall that attacks on humanitarian workers constitute a war crime under article 8 e iii) of the [1998] Rome Statute of the ICC and that accountability and legal protection are therefore stronger with an increasing membership in the ICC. 
Switzerland, Statement by the chargé d’affaires a.i. of Switzerland before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, made on behalf of the Group of Friends on the Protection of Civilians, namely Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Uruguay, 19 August 2013.
Switzerland
In 2013 in a statement before the UN Human Rights Council during an interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Syria and the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, the representative of Switzerland stated: “My delegation calls on the Syrian government and on all those who control territory to allow access for humanitarian aid.” 
Switzerland, Statement by the representative of Switzerland before the UN Human Rights Council during an interactive dialogue with the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria and the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, 16 September 2013.
Switzerland
In 2013, in a statement before the UN Human Rights Council during an interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, the representative of Switzerland stated:
During the preparation of the report, more than 4.25 million people have been internally displaced in Syria as a result of the hostilities, and their number has even more increased since then, following the intensification of the violence.
This makes access to victims of the war, including internally displaced persons, more and more difficult and the humanitarian actors present face great risks. … In view of the grave circumstances, Switzerland calls on all parties to the conflict to respect the principles of international humanitarian law and to facilitate thus access to vulnerable persons. 
Switzerland, Statement by the representative of Switzerland before the UN Human Rights Council during an interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, 16 September 2013.
Switzerland
In 2013, in a statement at the High-Level Segment of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme on Solidarity and Burden-Sharing with Countries hosting Syrian Refugees, the permanent representative of Switzerland stated: “We also call on the government of Syria and all those who exercise territorial control in Syria to allow unimpeded access of humanitarian aid.” 
Switzerland, Statement by the ambassador of Switzerland at the High-Level Segment of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme on Solidarity and Burden-Sharing with Countries hosting Syrian Refugees, 30 September 2013.
Switzerland
In 2013, in a statement at the 64th Session of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the ambassador of Switzerland stated: “We also call on the government of Syria and all those who exercise territorial control in Syria to allow unimpeded access of humanitarian aid.” 
Switzerland, Statement by the ambassador of Switzerland at the 64th Session of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 1 October 2013.
Switzerland
In 2013, in a statement before the UN General Assembly during an interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, the representative of Switzerland stated: “We also call on the Syrian government and on all those who exercise territorial control in Syria to allow rapid and unimpeded access of humanitarian aid.” 
Switzerland, Statement by the representative of Switzerland before the UN General Assembly during an interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, 24 October 2013.
Switzerland
In 2013, in a statement before UN General Assembly on “Item 70(1): Strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations”, the permanent representative of Switzerland stated:
Protection of and access to populations affected by armed conflict
Secondly, on the subject of protection of and access to communities affected by armed conflict, Switzerland agrees fully with the [UN] Secretary-General's analysis. Switzerland wishes to recall that rapid and unimpeded access to victims constitutes a cornerstone of international humanitarian law. It is the responsibility of the parties to a conflict to guarantee access to the victims, ensure the protection of affected populations and not to impede humanitarian relief activities. As such, it is paramount that humanitarian actors be able to negotiate access with all parties to a conflict. We therefore welcome the report by OCHA [UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] and the Norwegian Refugee Council on the impact of national counter-terrorism measures and the secretary-general's mention of this study in his report. Such measures must not impede the efforts of humanitarian actors to gain access and provide relief to the populations affected by conflicts or to publicise and promote respect for international humanitarian law.
Furthermore, we are concerned about the high price paid by humanitarian staff when undertaking missions to save lives. We are very concerned in particular about the regular attacks and threats against the medical institutions and personnel, which prevent the delivery of adequate assistance to the wounded and sick. However and as rightly noted in the secretary-general's report, humanitarian access should never be imposed by the use of force. A clear distinction must be made between humanitarian and security operations. The principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence must be at the heart of all humanitarian work, regardless of the actors involved. 
Switzerland, Statement by the permanent representative of Switzerland before the UN General Assembly on “Item 70(1): Strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations”, 12 December 2013.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2008, during a debate in the House of Commons, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development stated: “The [UK] Government welcome the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to protect civilian populations and have continued to lobby for all parties in the conflict to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. Those include … the preservation of humanitarian space, and ensuring free and unfettered access to all affected areas by neutral, impartial humanitarian actors.” 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, Hansard, 14 October 2008, Vol. 704, Westminster Hall, col. 246 WH.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2008, a UK Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, wrote to the House of Lords in response to a question concerning the lawfulness of the Israeli blockade of Gaza:
Although there is no permanent physical Israeli presence in Gaza, given the significant control that Israel has over Gaza’s borders, airspace and territorial waters, Israel retains obligations under the [1949] Fourth Geneva Convention as an occupying power. The Fourth Geneva Convention is clear that an occupying power must co-operate in allowing the passage and distribution of relief consignments. …
… Rather than focus on whether the restrictions at any given time amount to collective punishment, we have consistently pressed the Israeli Government to comply with their obligations under international law and allow passage of relief supplies. This was the message my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary delivered in his meetings with Israeli leaders during his recent visit to the region. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Written Answer by a Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 26 November 2008, Vol. 705, Written Answers, col. WA320.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Government Strategy on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict (2010) states: “IHL … calls on parties to authorise impartial humanitarian assistance to populations affected by the conflict.” 
United Kingdom, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Government Strategy on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, March 2010, p. 4.
The Strategy further states under the heading “Improving humanitarian access”:
Parties to armed conflict must take all required measures to respect and protect civilians. States bear the primary responsibility to respect and ensure the human rights of their citizens and other persons within their territory. When states and other parties lack the capacity or will to respect their obligations, humanitarian organisations have an important role to play. Parties to conflict need to agree to and facilitate neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian aid reaching populations in a safe, timely and unimpeded way. 
United Kingdom, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Government Strategy on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, March 2010, p. 10.
United States of America
In submitting the 1977 Additional Protocol II to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification, the US President, commenting on Article 18 of the Protocol, stated: “The parties to a conflict have a duty not to refuse passage of relief supplies for arbitrary reasons.” 
United States, Message from the US President Transmitting the 1977 Additional Protocol II to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification, Treaty Doc. 100-2, 29 January 1987, Comment on Article 18.
United States of America
In 1987, the Deputy Legal Adviser of the US Department of State affirmed:
We support the principle … subject to the requirements of imperative military necessity, that impartial relief actions necessary for the survival of the civilian population be permitted and encouraged …
We support the principle … that the ICRC and the relevant Red Cross or Red Crescent organizations be granted all necessary facilities and access to enable them to carry out their humanitarian functions. 
United States, Remarks of Michael J. Matheson, Deputy Legal Adviser, US Department of State, The Sixth Annual American Red Cross-Washington College of Law Conference on International Humanitarian Law: A Workshop on Customary International Law and the 1977 Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, American University Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 2, 1987, pp. 426 and 428.
United States of America
According to the Report on US Practice, it is the opinio juris of the United States that:
Special agreements are necessary in order for relief personnel and vehicles to pass through military lines or receive special protection. It is a violation of international humanitarian law to deny conclusion of such agreements for arbitrary reasons …
Some conditions which the US government would not regard as arbitrary may be inferred from legislation dealing with relief shipments from the United States to regions of conflict. These include adequate procedures to ensure that the relief actually reaches the persons for whom it is intended, and any condition necessary to ensure the safety of the armed forces in combat. 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 4.2.
Viet Nam
In 2008, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the representative of Viet Nam stated that “humanitarian access, among other things, is critical to protecting civilians in armed conflict.” 
Viet Nam, Statement by the representative before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 27 May 2008, p. 14.
The representative of Viet Nam also stated that “regional organizations, with their good understanding of regional stakeholders, are well positioned to convince parties to armed conflict to … facilitate humanitarian access.” 
Viet Nam, Statement by the representative before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 27 May 2008, p. 14.
Viet Nam
In 2008, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, the representative of Viet Nam stated:
We once again urge Israel scrupulously to abide by international law – above all human rights and humanitarian law – [and to] … open the border crossings, and … ensure unfettered access for international assistance and humanitarian relief to the Palestinian population in all occupied territories. 
Viet Nam, Statement by the representative before the UN Security Council during a debate on the situation in the Middle East, 3 December 2008, p. 12.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
In 1991, in a “Statement regarding the need for the respect of the norms of international humanitarian law in the armed conflicts in Yugoslavia”, the Federal Executive Council of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia requested that all the parties “extend full support and assistance to the humanitarian relief operations of the Red Cross and particularly the International Red Cross Committee”. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Federal Executive Council, Statement regarding the need for the respect of the norms of international humanitarian law in the armed conflicts in Yugoslavia, Belgrade, 31 October 1991.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
In 1992, the Ministry of Defence of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia issued a special order to its armed forces to signify their “duty to enable ICRC delegates to carry out their humanitarian functions, … in accordance with the Geneva Conventions”. The order added that the armed forces must provide “the conditions for undisturbed performing of ICRC humanitarian functions”. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Federal Ministry of Defence, Department for Civil Defence, Order (International Committee of the Red Cross – Mission in Belgrade), 20 January 1992, §§ 1 and 9.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1991 on repression of the Iraqi civilian population, including Kurds in Iraq, the UN Security Council insisted that “Iraq allow immediate access by international humanitarian organizations to all those in need of assistance in all parts of Iraq and make available all necessary facilities for their operations”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 688, 5 April 1991, § 3, voting record: 10-3-2.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1991 on the import of petroleum and petroleum products originating in Iraq, the UN Security Council reaffirmed “the importance which the Council attaches to Iraq’s allowing unhindered access by international humanitarian organizations to all those in need of assistance in all parts of Iraq and making available all necessary facilities for their operation”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 706, 15 August 1991, preamble, voting record: 13-1-1.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1992 on Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Security Council called upon all parties to the conflict “to ensure that conditions are established for the effective and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 752, 15 May 1992, § 8, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1992 on Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Security Council, “dismayed that conditions have not yet been established for the effective and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance”, demanded that “all parties and others concerned create immediately the necessary conditions for unimpeded delivery of humanitarian supplies to Sarajevo and other destinations in Bosnia and Herzegovina”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 757, 30 May 1992, preamble and § 17, voting record: 13-0-2.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1992 on Somalia, the UN Security Council demanded that all parties, movements and factions in Somalia “take all measures necessary to facilitate the efforts of the United Nations, its specialized agencies and humanitarian organizations to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the affected population in Somalia”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 794, 3 December 1992, § 2, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1993 on the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the UN Security Council called for “unimpeded access for international humanitarian relief efforts in the region, in particular in all areas affected by the conflict, in order to alleviate the increased suffering of the civilian population”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 822, 30 April 1993, § 3, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1993 on the treatment of certain towns and surroundings in Bosnia and Herzegovina as safe areas, the UN Security Council declared that “full respect by all parties of the rights of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) and the international humanitarian agencies to free and unimpeded access to all safe areas in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina” should be observed. 
UN Security Council, Res. 824, 6 May 1993, § 4(b), voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1993 on Angola, the UN Security Council declared that it had taken note of statements by the União Nacional para Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) that it would “cooperate in ensuring the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance to all Angolans” and demanded that UNITA act accordingly. 
UN Security Council, Res. 851, 15 July 1993, § 15, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1993 on the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the UN Security Council called for “unimpeded access for international humanitarian relief efforts in the region, in particular in all areas affected by the conflict, in order to alleviate the increased suffering of the civilian population”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 853, 29 July 1993, § 11, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1993 on the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the UN Security Council called for “unimpeded access for international humanitarian relief efforts in all areas affected by the conflict”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 874, 14 October 1993, § 9, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1993 on the conflict in Georgia, the UN Security Council called for “unimpeded access for international humanitarian assistance in the region”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 876, 19 October 1993, § 7, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on an immediate and durable cease-fire in Yemen, the UN Security Council expressed its deep concern about the humanitarian situation in Yemen and urged all concerned “to provide humanitarian access and facilitate the distribution of relief supplies to those in need”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 931, 29 June 1994, § 7, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Security Council demanded that “all parties allow unimpeded access for humanitarian assistance to all parts of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and, in particular, to the safe areas”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 998, 16 June 1995, § 4, voting record: 13-0-2.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Security Council demanded that:
all parties allow unimpeded access for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other international humanitarian agencies to the safe area of Srebrenica in order to alleviate the plight of the civilian population, and in particular that they cooperate on the restoration of utilities. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1004, 12 July 1995, § 5, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1995 in the context of the conflict in Croatia, the UN Security Council requested that the Croatian Government “in conformity with internationally recognized standards … allow access to [the local Serb] population by international humanitarian organizations”.  
UN Security Council, Res. 1009, 10 August 1995, § 2, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1995 in the context of the conflict in former Yugoslavia, the UN Security Council:
Reiterating its strong support for the efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in seeking access to displaced persons, and condemning in the strongest possible terms the failure of the Bosnian Serb party to comply with their commitments in respect of such access,
2. Reaffirms its demand that the Bosnian Serb party give immediate and unimpeded access to representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the ICRC and other international agencies to persons displaced. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1019, 9 November 1995, preamble and § 2, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1996 on UNOMIL, the UN Security Council demanded that the factions in the conflict in Liberia facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1059, 31 May 1996, § 7, voting record: 15-0-0.
This demand was reiterated in a subsequent resolution later that year. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1071, 30 August 1996, § 10, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1996 on the situation in the Great Lakes region, the UN Security Council called upon all those concerned in the region “to facilitate the delivery of international humanitarian assistance to those in need”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1078, 9 November 1996, § A-5, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1996 on the situation in Liberia, the UN Security Council demanded that the factions “facilitate … the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1083, 27 November 1996, § 8, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1998 on the imposition of an arms embargo against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the UN Security Council underlined the necessity for the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to allow “access to Kosovo by humanitarian organizations”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1160, 31 March 1998, § 16(c), voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1998 on Afghanistan, the UN Security Council urged all Afghan factions and, in particular the Taliban, “to facilitate the work of the international humanitarian organizations and to ensure unimpeded access and adequate conditions for the delivery of aid by such organizations to all in need of it”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1193, 28 August 1998, § 9, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1998 on the situation in Kosovo, the UN Security Council demanded that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia “allow free and unimpeded access for humanitarian organizations and supplies to Kosovo”. It also noted the commitment of the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia “to ensure full and unimpeded access for humanitarian organizations, the ICRC and the UNHCR, and delivery of humanitarian supplies”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1199, 23 September 1998, §§ 4(c) and 5(d), voting record: 14-0-1.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1998 on extension of the mandate of the UN Observer Mission in Angola, the UN Security Council called on the Government of Angola and in particular the União Nacional para Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) “to cooperate fully with international humanitarian organizations in the delivery of emergency relief assistance to affected populations”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1213, 3 December 1998, § 7, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1999 on relief assistance in the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the UN Security Council called for “access for United Nations and all other humanitarian personnel operating in Kosovo and other parts of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1239, 14 May 1999, § 3, voting record: 13-0-0-2.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1999 on children in armed conflicts, the UN Security Council called upon all parties to armed conflicts “to ensure the full, safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel and the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all children affected by armed conflict”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1261, 25 August 1999, § 11, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1999 on the establishment of a multinational peace force in East Timor, the UN Security Council emphasized “the importance of allowing full, safe and unimpeded access by humanitarian organizations” and called upon all parties “to ensure … the effective delivery of humanitarian aid”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1264, 15 September 1999, § 2, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1999 on protection of civilians in armed conflicts, the UN Security Council expressed its concern “at the denial of safe and unimpeded access to people in need” and underlined “the importance of safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel to civilians in armed conflict”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1265, 17 September 1999, preamble and § 7, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1999 on East Timor, the UN Security Council called upon all parties “to ensure … the effective delivery of humanitarian aid”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1272, 25 October 1999, § 10, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution on the Democratic Republic of the Congo adopted in 2000, the UN Security Council expressed “its deep concern at the limited access of humanitarian workers to refugees and internally displaced persons in some areas”. It also called on all parties “to ensure the safe and unhindered access of relief personnel to all those in need” and “to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross to enable it to carry out its mandate”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1291, 24 February 2000, preamble and §§ 12 and 13, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2000 on protection of civilians in armed conflicts, the UN Security Council underlined “the importance of safe and unimpeded access of humanitarian personnel to civilians in armed conflicts” and called upon “all parties concerned … to cooperate fully with the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator and United Nations agencies in providing such access”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1296, 19 April 2000, § 8; see also § 15, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2000 on the protection of children in situations of armed conflict, the UN Security Council called upon all parties to armed conflict “to ensure the full, safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel and the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all children affected by armed conflict”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1314, 11 August 2000, § 7, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2000 on measures against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the UN Security Council reaffirmed “the necessity for sanctions to … be structured in a way that will not impede, thwart or delay the work of international humanitarian organizations or governmental relief agencies providing humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in the country”. It also called upon the Taliban “to ensure the safe and unhindered access of relief personnel and aid to all those in need in the territory under their control”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1333, 19 December 2000, preamble and § 13, voting record: 13-0-2.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Security Council demanded “that all the parties to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in particular in Ituri, ensure the security of civilian populations and grant to MONUC and to humanitarian organizations full and unimpeded access to the populations in need”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1468, 20 March 2003, § 14, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation in Liberia, the UN Security Council called “on all Liberian parties and Member States … to ensure the safe and unimpeded access of international humanitarian personnel to populations in need in Liberia”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1497, 1 August 2003, § 11, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the protection of UN personnel, associated personnel and humanitarian personnel in conflict zones, the UN Security Council:
Reaffirming the obligation of all humanitarian personnel and United Nations and its associated personnel to observe and respect the laws of the country in which they are operating, in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations, and underlining the importance for humanitarian organizations to uphold the principles of neutrality, impartiality and humanity in their humanitarian activities,
4. Urges all those concerned as set forth in international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Regulations, to allow full unimpeded access by humanitarian personnel to all people in need of assistance, and to make available, as far as possible, all necessary facilities for their operations, and to promote the safety, security and freedom of movement of humanitarian personnel and United Nations and its associated personnel and their assets;
5. Expresses its determination to take appropriate steps in order to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and United Nations and its associated personnel, including, inter alia, by:
(b) Encouraging the Secretary-General, in accordance with his prerogatives under the Charter of the United Nations, to bring to the attention of the Security Council situations in which humanitarian assistance is denied as a consequence of violence directed against humanitarian personnel and United Nations and its associated personnel. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1502, 26 August 2003, preamble and §§ 4–5, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation in Liberia, the UN Security Council:
Expressing also its deep concern at the limited access of humanitarian workers to populations in need, including refugees and internally displaced persons, and stressing the need for the continued operation of United Nations and other agencies’ relief operations, …
8. Calls upon all parties to ensure, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law, the full, safe and unhindered access of relief personnel to all those in need and delivery of humanitarian assistance, in particular to internally displaced persons and refugees. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1509, 19 September 2003, preamble and § 8, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the question concerning Haiti, the UN Security Council:
Further calls on all parties in Haiti and on Member States to cooperate fully with the Multinational Interim Force in Haiti in the execution of its mandate and to respect the security and freedom of movement of the Multinational Interim Force, as well as to facilitate the safe and unimpeded access of international humanitarian personnel and aid to populations in need in Haiti. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1529, 29 February 2004, § 8, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the Sudan, the UN Security Council:
Recalling its Statement by its President of 25 May 2004 (S/PRST/2004/16), its resolution 1547 (2004) of 11 June 2004 and its resolution 1502 (2003) of 26 August 2003 on the access of humanitarian workers to populations in need,
Welcoming the Joint Communiqué issued by the Government of Sudan and the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 3 July 2004, including the creation of the Joint Implementation Mechanism, and acknowledging steps taken towards improved humanitarian access,
Recalling that over one million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, that with the onset of the rainy season the provision of assistance has become increasingly difficult, and that without urgent action to address the security, access, logistics, capacity and funding requirements the lives of hundreds of thousands of people will be at risk,
1. Calls on the Government of Sudan to fulfil immediately all of the commitments it made in the 3 July 2004 Communiqué, including particularly by facilitating international relief for the humanitarian disaster by means of a moratorium on all restrictions that might hinder the provision of humanitarian assistance and access to the affected populations, … [and] by the establishment of credible security conditions for the protection of the civilian population and humanitarian actors. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1556, 30 July 2004, preamble and § 1, voting record: 13-0-2.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the Sudan, the UN Security Council:
Welcoming the Secretary-General’s report of 30 August 2004 (S/2004/703) and the progress achieved on humanitarian access, …
Welcoming that the Government of Sudan has taken a number of steps to lift administrative obstructions to the delivery of humanitarian relief, which has resulted in access for an increased number of humanitarian personnel in Darfur as well as international human rights non-governmental institutions, and recognizing that the Government of Sudan has broadened its cooperation with United Nations humanitarian agencies and their partners. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1564, 18 September 2004, preamble, voting record: 11-0-4.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the situation concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Security Council urged “all those concerned to allow immediate, full and unimpeded access by humanitarian personnel to all people in need of assistance as set forth in applicable international humanitarian law”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1565, 1 October 2004, § 19, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the Sudan, the UN Security Council:
Recalling in this regard that all parties, including the Sudanese rebel groups such as the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudanese Liberation Army, must respect human rights and international humanitarian law …
11. Demands that Government and rebel forces and all other armed groups … cooperate with international humanitarian relief and monitoring efforts, ensure that their members comply with international humanitarian law, facilitate the safety and security of humanitarian staff, and reinforce throughout their ranks their agreements to allow unhindered access and passage by humanitarian agencies and those in their employ, in accordance with its resolution 1502 (2003) of 26 August 2003 on the access of humanitarian workers to populations in need and with the Abuja Protocols of 9 November 2004. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1574, 19 November 2004, preamble and § 11, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the Sudan, the UN Security Council:
Expressing also its deep concern for the security of humanitarian workers and their access to populations in need, including refugees, internally displaced persons and other war-affected populations,
9. Calls upon all parties to ensure, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law, the full, safe and unhindered access of relief personnel to all those in need and delivery of humanitarian assistance, in particular to internally displaced persons and refugees. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1590, 24 March 2005, preamble and § 9, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the Sudan, the UN Security Council expressed its deep concern “for the security of humanitarian workers and their access to populations in need, including refugees, internally displaced persons and other war-affected populations”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1591, 29 March 2005, preamble, voting record: 12-0-3.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the situation in the Great Lakes region, the UN Security Council stressed “the importance of ensuring the full, safe and unhindered access of humanitarian workers to people in need in accordance with international law. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1653, 27 January 2006, § 10, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the UN Security Council:
11. Calls upon all parties concerned to ensure that all peace processes, peace agreements and post-conflict recovery and reconstruction planning have regard for the special needs of women and children and include specific measures for the protection of civilians including … (ii) the facilitation of the provision of humanitarian assistance.
21. Stresses the importance for all, within the framework of humanitarian assistance, of upholding and respecting the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence;
22. Urges all those concerned as set forth in international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Regulations, to allow full unimpeded access by humanitarian personnel to civilians in need of assistance in situations of armed conflict, and to make available, as far as possible, all necessary facilities for their operations, and to promote the safety, security and freedom of movement of humanitarian personnel and United Nations and its associated personnel and their assets. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1674, 28 April 2006, §§ 11 and 21–22, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the situation in Timor-Leste, the UN Security Council:
Expresses its appreciation and full support for the deployment of international security forces by the Governments of Portugal, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia in response to the request of the Government of Timor-Leste and their activities aiming to restore and maintain security in Timor-Leste, [and] takes note with appreciation that the work of those international forces is also facilitating the provision of humanitarian assistance and humanitarian access to the people of Timor-Leste in need. 
UN Security Council, Res., 1690, 20 June 2006, § 2, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the situation in the Middle East, the UN Security Council affirmed that all parties are responsible for ensuring “humanitarian access to civilian populations”.  
UN Security Council, Res. 1701, 11 August 2006, § 7, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the Sudan, the UN Security Council:
Expresses its deep concern for the security of humanitarian aid workers and their access to populations in need, including refugees, internally displaced persons and other war-affected populations, and calls upon all parties, in particular the Government of National Unity, to ensure, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law, the full, safe and unhindered access of relief personnel to all those in need in Darfur as well as the delivery of humanitarian assistance, in particular to internally displaced persons and refugees. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1706, 31 August 2006, preamble, voting record: 12-0-3.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the situation in Somalia, the UN Security Council:
Expresses its deep concern over the humanitarian situation in Somalia, demands that all parties in Somalia ensure complete and unhindered humanitarian access, as well as providing guarantees for the safety and security of humanitarian aid workers in Somalia, and welcomes and encourages the ongoing relief efforts in Somalia. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1744, 21 February 2007, § 11, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the Sudan, the UN Security Council:
Reiterates its concern over the restrictions and bureaucratic impediments placed on UNMIS movements and materiel, and the adverse impact such restrictions and impediments have on UNMIS’ ability to perform its mandate effectively and on the ability of the humanitarian community to reach affected persons; and calls upon the Government of National Unity to abide by its international obligations, in this regard, as well as those set out in the Status of Forces Agreement,
Welcomes the communiqué signed between the United Nations and the Government of National Unity in Khartoum on 28 March 2007, to support, protect and facilitate all humanitarian operations in Darfur; and calls for its immediate implementation. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1755, 30 April 2007, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the situation concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Security Council:
Recalling its resolution 1502 of 26 August 2003, reaffirms the obligation of all parties to comply fully with the relevant rules and principles of international humanitarian law relating to the protection of humanitarian and United Nations personnel, and also demands that all parties concerned grant immediate, full and unimpeded access by humanitarian personnel to all persons in need of assistance, as provided for in applicable international law. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1756, 15 May 2007, § 13, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the Sudan, the UN Security Council:
Reiterating its deep concern for the security of humanitarian aid workers and their access to populations in need,
Condemning those parties to the conflict who have failed to ensure the full, safe and unhindered access of relief personnel to all those in need in Darfur as well as the delivery of humanitarian assistance,
19. Calls on all parties to ensure, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law, the full, safe and unhindered access of relief personnel to all those in need and delivery of humanitarian assistance. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1769, 31 July 2007, preamble and § 19, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on Iraq, the UN Security Council:
Urging all those concerned as set forth in international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Regulations, to allow full unimpeded access by humanitarian personnel to all people in need of assistance, and to make available, as far as possible, all necessary facilities for their operations, and to promote the safety, security and freedom of movement of humanitarian personnel and United Nations and its associated personnel and their assets. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1770, 10 August 2007, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on Somalia, the UN Security Council “calls on all parties and armed groups in Somalia to … grant timely, safe and unhindered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all those in need. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1772, 20 August 2007, § 20, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the situation in Chad, the Central African Republic and the subregion, the UN Security Council requested “all the parties involved to provide humanitarian personnel with immediate, free and unimpeded access to all persons in need of assistance, in accordance with applicable international law”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1778, 25 September 2007, § 17, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the Sudan, the UN Security Council reiterated “its deep concern about the security of civilians and humanitarian aid workers and about humanitarian access to populations in need”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1779, 28 September 2007, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Security Council:
Reaffirms the obligation of all parties to comply fully with the relevant rules and principles of international humanitarian law relating to the protection of humanitarian and United Nations personnel, and also demands that all parties concerned grant immediate, full and unimpeded access by humanitarian personnel to all persons in need of assistance, as provided for in applicable international law. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1794, 21 December 2007, § 17, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In 1993, in a statement by its President on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Security Council reiterated “its demand that the parties and all others concerned allow immediate and unimpeded access to humanitarian relief supplies”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/25302, 17 February 1993, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 1993, in a statement by its President on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Security Council reiterated “its demand that the Bosnian parties grant immediate and unimpeded access for humanitarian convoys and fully comply with the Security Council’s decisions in this regard”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/25334, 25 February 1993, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 1993, in a statement by its President on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Security Council demanded that “all concerned allow the unimpeded access of humanitarian relief supplies throughout the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially humanitarian access to the besieged cities of eastern Bosnia”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/25361, 3 March 1993, pp. 1 and 2.
UN Security Council
In 1993, in a statement by its President on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Security Council stated:
Recognizing the imperative need to alleviate, with the utmost urgency, the sufferings of the population in and around Srebrenica, who are in desperate need of food, medicine, clothes and shelter, the Council demands that the Bosnian Serb party … allow all such [humanitarian] convoys unhindered access to the town of Srebrenica and other parts in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/25520, 3 April 1993, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 1993, in a statement by its President issued following accounts of “an attack to which an humanitarian convoy under the protection of UNPROFOR was subjected on 25 October 1993 in central Bosnia”, the UN Security Council called upon all parties to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia “to guarantee the unimpeded access of humanitarian assistance”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/26661, 28 October 1993, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 1993, in a statement by its President on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Security Council reiterated “its demand to all parties and others concerned to guarantee unimpeded access for humanitarian assistance”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/26716, 9 November 1993, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 1994, in a statement by its President on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Security Council reiterated “its demand that there be unimpeded access of humanitarian relief assistance to their intended destinations”. It further reiterated “the demand that all parties ensure … unimpeded access [by UN and NGO personnel] throughout the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1994/1, 7 January 1994, pp. 1 and 2.
UN Security Council
In 1994, in a statement by its President on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Security Council demanded that “the Bosnian Serb party and the Bosnian Croat party allow forthwith and without conditions passage to all humanitarian convoys [to the besieged town of Maglaj]”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1994/11, 14 March 1994, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 1995, in a statement by its President on the situation in Croatia, the UN Security Council called on the parties to the conflict “to cooperate fully with UNCRO, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross in ensuring access and protection to the local civilian population as appropriate”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1995/38, 4 August 1995, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 1996, in a statement by its President on the situation in the Great Lakes region, the UN Security Council called on all parties in the region “to allow humanitarian agencies and non-governmental organizations to deliver humanitarian assistance to those in need”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1996/44, 1 November 1996, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 1997, in a statement by its President on the situation in the Great Lakes region, the UN Security Council urged all parties “to allow humanitarian agencies and organizations access to deliver humanitarian assistance to those in need”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1997/5, 7 February 1997, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 1997, in a statement by its President on the situation in Somalia, the UN Security Council called upon the factions in Somalia “to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian relief to the Somali people, including through the opening of the airport and harbour of Mogadishu”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1997/8, 27 February 1997, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 1997, in a statement by its President on the situation in the Great Lakes region, the UN Security Council stated:
The Security Council … strongly urges the parties, and in particular the ADFL [Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo/Zaire], to ensure unrestricted and safe access by United Nations agencies and other humanitarian organizations to guarantee the provision of humanitarian assistance to, and the safety of, all refugees, displaced persons and other affected civilian inhabitants. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1997/19, 4 April 1997.
UN Security Council
In 1997, in a statement by its President on the situation in the Great Lakes region, the UN Security Council stated:
The Security Council is dismayed at the continued lack of access being afforded by the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo/Zaire (ADFL) to United Nations and other humanitarian relief agencies … and in particular calls in the strongest terms upon the ADFL to ensure unrestricted and safe access by all humanitarian relief agencies so as to allow the immediate provision of humanitarian aid to those affected. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1997/22, 24 April 1997, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 1997, in a statement by its President on the situation in the Great Lakes region, the UN Security Council noted “the commitment by the leader of the ADFL [Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo/Zaire] to allow United Nations and other humanitarian agencies access to refugees in eastern Zaire [Democratic Republic of the Congo] in order to provide humanitarian assistance”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1997/24, 30 April 1997, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 1997, in a statement by its President on the situation concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Security Council called for “access … for humanitarian relief workers”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1997/31, 29 May 1997, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 1997, in a statement by its President following a debate on the protection of humanitarian assistance to refugees and others in conflict situations, the UN Security Council called upon all parties concerned “to guarantee the unimpeded and safe access of United Nations and other humanitarian personnel to those in need”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1997/34, 19 June 1997, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 1997, in a statement by its President on the situation in Afghanistan, the UN Security Council expressed serious concern over “deliberate restrictions placed on the access of humanitarian organizations to some parts of the country and on other humanitarian operations” and urged all parties “to prevent their recurrence”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1997/55, 16 December 1997, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 1998, in a statement by its President on the situation in Afghanistan, the UN Security Council strongly urged the Taliban “to let humanitarian agencies attend to the needs of the population”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1998/9, 6 April 1998, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 1998, in a statement by its President on the situation concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Security Council called for “safe and unhindered access for humanitarian agencies to all those in need in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1998/26, 31 August 1998, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 1999, in a statement by its President on protection of civilians in armed conflict, the UN Security Council called upon all parties involved in armed conflict “to guarantee the unimpeded and safe access of United Nations and other humanitarian personnel to those in need”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1999/6, 12 February 1999, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 2000, in a statement by its President on the question of the protection of UN, associated and humanitarian personnel in conflict zones, the UN Security Council underlined “the importance of unhindered access to populations in need” and declared that it would “continue to stress in its resolutions the imperative for humanitarian assistance missions and personnel to have safe and unimpeded access to civilian populations”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2000/4, 11 February 2000, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 2000, in a statement by its President entitled “Maintaining peace and security: Humanitarian aspects of issues before the Security Council”, the UN Security Council reiterated its call to all parties to conflict to “ensure safe and unimpeded access in accordance with international law by humanitarian personnel to [war-affected] civilians”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2000/7, 13 March 2000, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 2001, in a statement by its President on the situation in Burundi, the UN Security Council stressed “the importance of providing urgent humanitarian assistance to civilians displaced by the hostilities” and called upon “all parties to guarantee safe and unhindered access by humanitarian personnel to those in need”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2001/6, 2 March 2001, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 2003, in a statement by its President concerning the situation in Somalia, the UN Security Council stated:
The Security Council expresses serious concern regarding the humanitarian situation in Somalia, in particular the internally displaced persons, especially in the area of Mogadishu. The Council urges the Somalia leaders to live up to their commitments under the “Eldoret Declaration”, to facilitate the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance, to assure the safety of all international and national aid workers, to provide immediate safe access for all humanitarian personnel, and to support the return and reintegration of refugees. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2003/2, 12 March 2003, pp. 2–3.
UN Security Council
In 2003, in a statement by its President concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Security Council expressed “its concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Bunia and demands that all parties grant full and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid and guaranty the safety and security of humanitarian personnel”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2003/6, 16 May 2003, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 2004, in a statement by its President concerning Somalia, the UN Security Council expressed “serious concern regarding the humanitarian situation in Somalia” and called on “the Somalia leaders to facilitate the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance and to assure the safety of all international and national aid workers”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2004/3, 25 February 2004, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 2004, in a statement by its President concerning Haiti, the UN Security Council called upon “all sides in Haiti’s conflict to facilitate the distribution of food and medicine and ensure the protection of civilians … to respect international humanitarian personnel and facilities and to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches those who need it”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2004/4, 26 February 2004, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 2004, in a statement by its President concerning the situation in the Darfur region of the Sudan, the UN Security Council stated:
The Council reiterates its call on the parties to … facilitate humanitarian access to the affected population [and] calls on all parties, in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1502 (2003), to allow full unimpeded access by humanitarian personnel to all people in need for their operations, and to promote the safety, security and freedom of movement of humanitarian personnel and their assets. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2004/18, 25 May 2004, pp. 1–2.
UN Security Council
In 2004, in a statement by its President concerning the situation in Somalia, the UN Security Council reiterated “serious concern regarding the humanitarian situation in Somalia” and called on “Somali leaders to facilitate the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance and to assure the safety of all international and national aid workers”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2004/24, 14 July 2004, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 2005, in a statement by its President concerning the situation in Somalia, the UN Security Council stated:
The Security Council expresses its growing concern over the situation of one million Somalis in a state of humanitarian emergency or suffering from severe livelihood distress and the rising civil and food insecurity in parts of Southern Somalia, where malnutrition levels have increased. The Council stresses that improving humanitarian access to all Somalis in need is an essential component of durable peace and reconciliation.
The Security Council strongly urges the TFIs [Transitional Federal Institutions] to ensure humanitarian access and provide guarantees for the safety and security of aid workers. The Council condemns in the strongest terms the killing of a United Nations national security officer on 3 October in Kismayo. The Council calls for those responsible to be held accountable. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2005/54, 9 November 2005, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 2006, in a statement by its President concerning the situation in Somalia, the UN Security Council urged “all Somali leaders to ensure complete and unhindered humanitarian access, as well as provide guarantees for the safety and security of the humanitarian aid workers in Somalia”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2006/11, 15 March 2006, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 2006, in a statement by its President concerning the situation in Chad and the Sudan, the UN Security Council stated:
The Security Council reiterates that the presence of a large number of refugees [in Chad] places a heavy burden on the host country and for the local communities, and emphasizes the need for humanitarian aid to continue reaching the people in need of assistance without any hindrance. It calls on the Government of Chad to do all it can to protect its civilian population. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2006/53, 15 December 2006, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 2007, in a statement by its President concerning the situation in Somalia, the UN Security Council stated:
The Security Council demands that all parties in Somalia comply fully with international humanitarian law, protect the civilian population, and guarantee complete, unhindered and secure access for humanitarian assistance. It demands that the relevant authorities do all they can in this regard, in particular to facilitate the free movement of aid and humanitarian workers throughout Somalia and when entering or leaving Somalia. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2007/13, 30 April 2007, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 2007, in a statement by its President concerning the situation in the Sudan, the UN Security Council demanded that “all parties … facilitate humanitarian relief”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2007/15, 25 May 2007, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 2007, in a statement by its President concerning the situation in Somalia, the UN Security Council stated:
The Security Council emphasizes again the need for strengthened efforts to provide humanitarian relief assistance to Somalia, including assistance to the hundreds of thousands of displaced persons, urges Member States to support generously such operations, and demands that all parties ensure unfettered access for humanitarian assistance. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2007/19, 14 June 2007, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 2007, in a statement by its President concerning the situation in Somalia, the UN Security Council stated:
The Security Council expresses its deep concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation, aggravated by the prevailing security conditions in Somalia, and emphasizes again the need for strengthened efforts to provide humanitarian relief assistance to Somalia. The Security Council demands that all parties in Somalia ensure unfettered access for all humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations, fulfil their responsibilities and obligations under international humanitarian law, and take the necessary measures to protect civilians. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2007/49, 19 December 2007, pp. 1–2.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1990 on the situation of human rights in occupied Kuwait, the UN General Assembly demanded that Iraq give “access to Kuwait to representatives of humanitarian organizations, especially the ICRC … to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 45/170, 18 December 1990, § 5, voting record: 144-1-0-14.
UN General Assembly
In 1991, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian emergency assistance of the United Nations. A list of guiding principles annexed to the resolution provides:
States whose populations are in need of humanitarian assistance are called upon to facilitate the work of these organizations in implementing humanitarian assistance, in particular the supply of food, medicines, shelter and health care, for which access to victims is essential. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 46/182, 19 December 1991, Annex, § 6, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1993 on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN General Assembly demanded that all parties concerned “facilitate the unhindered flow of humanitarian assistance, including the provision of water, electricity, fuel and communication … particularly to the safe areas”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 48/88, 20 December 1993, § 12, voting record: 109-0-57-18.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on the situation of human rights in the former Yugoslavia, the UN General Assembly noted that many of the past recommendations of the Special Rapporteur had not been fully implemented and urged the parties, all States and relevant organizations to give immediate consideration to them, including “the opening of humanitarian relief corridors to prevent the death and deprivation of the civilian population and to open Tuzla airport to relief deliveries”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 49/196, 23 December 1994, § 30(a), voting record: 150-0-14-21.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1998 on the situation of human rights in Kosovo, the UN General Assembly:
3. … [C]alls upon all parties in Kosovo to … ensure .. unrestricted access within Kosovo of … personnel [belonging to the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission];
17. Also calls upon the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to grant access to … Kosovo for all humanitarian aid workers …
24. Calls upon the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and all others concerned to guarantee the unrestricted access of humanitarian organizations and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to Kosovo, and to allow the unhindered delivery of relief items. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 53/164, 9 December 1998, §§ 3, 17 and 24, voting record: 122-3-34-26.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1999 on the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all Governments and parties in complex humanitarian emergencies, in particular in armed conflicts and in post-conflicts situations, in countries where humanitarian personnel are operating, in conformity with the relevant provisions of international law and national laws, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies and organizations and to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel in order to allow them to perform efficiently their tasks of assisting the affected civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced persons. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 54/192, 17 December 1999, § 3, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2000 on a new international humanitarian order, the UN General Assembly called upon “all Governments and parties involved in complex humanitarian emergencies to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel so as to allow them to perform efficiently their task of assisting the affected civilian populations”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 55/73, 4 December 2000, § 4, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2000 on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, the UN General Assembly urged all parties to the continuing conflict in the Sudan:
To grant full, safe and unhindered access to international agencies and humanitarian organizations so as to facilitate by all means possible the delivery of humanitarian assistance, in conformity with international humanitarian law, to all civilians in need of protection and assistance. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 55/116, 4 December 2000, § 3(f), voting record: 85-32-49-23.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on emergency international assistance for peace, normalcy and reconstruction of war-stricken Afghanistan, the UN General Assembly:
Reaffirming the importance of the safety and security of the humanitarian personnel and United Nations and associated personnel in Afghanistan, and alarmed by the increase in attacks on humanitarian personnel, including Afghan nationals, in parts of the country,
Noting with concern that the increase in such attacks has limited access to certain areas of Afghanistan and led to inadequate conditions for the delivery of aid for internally displaced persons and vulnerable sectors of the civilian population,
Recognizing that a secure environment is indispensable for the safe and effective delivery and distribution of humanitarian assistance …
8. Strongly condemns the recent deliberate attacks and all other acts of violence and intimidation directed against humanitarian personnel and United Nations and associated personnel, and regrets the loss of life and physical harm suffered among such staff;
9. Urges the Transitional Administration and local authorities to ensure the safety, security and free movement of all United Nations and humanitarian personnel, as well as their safe and unimpeded access to all affected populations, and to protect the property of the United Nations and of humanitarian organizations, including non-governmental organizations. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 58/27 B, 5 December 2003, preamble and §§ 8–9, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on assistance to the Palestinian people, the UN General Assembly stressed “the importance of ensuring the free passage of aid to the Palestinian people and the free movement of persons and goods”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 58/113, 17 December 2003, § 10, voting record: 170-0-2-19.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations, the UN General Assembly:
Reaffirming the principles of neutrality, humanity and impartiality for the provision of humanitarian assistance,
Recognizing that independence, meaning the autonomy of humanitarian objectives from the political, economic, military or other objectives that any actor may hold with regard to areas where humanitarian action is being implemented, is also an important guiding principle for the provision of humanitarian assistance,
Gravely concerned also about the lack of access by humanitarian personnel to victims of humanitarian emergencies, in particular in armed conflict and in post-conflict situations, in many regions of the world,
9. Reaffirms the leading role of civilian organizations in implementing humanitarian assistance, particularly in areas affected by conflicts, affirms the need, in situations where military capacity and assets are used to support the implementation of humanitarian assistance, for their use to be in conformity with international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles, and in this regard takes note of the 2003 “Guidelines on the Use of Military and Civil Defence Assets to Support United Nations Humanitarian Activities in Complex Emergencies”, as well as of the 1994 “Guidelines on the Use of Military and Civil Defence Assets in Disaster Relief”;
10. Calls upon all Governments and parties in complex humanitarian emergencies, in particular in armed conflicts and in post-conflict situations, in countries in which humanitarian personnel are operating, in conformity with the relevant provisions of international law and national laws, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies and organizations and to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel as well as supplies and equipment in order to allow them to perform efficiently their task of assisting the affected civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced persons. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 58/114, 17 December 2003, preamble and §§ 7–10, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on assistance for humanitarian relief and the economic and social rehabilitation of Somalia, the UN General Assembly:
Recalling statements by the President of the Security Council of 31 October 2001 and 28 March 2002, by which the Security Council condemned attacks on humanitarian personnel and called upon all parties in Somalia to respect fully the security and safety of personnel of the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and non-governmental organizations, and to guarantee their complete freedom of movement and access throughout Somalia.
9. Calls upon all Somali parties to respect the security and safety of the personnel of the United Nations, the specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations and to guarantee their complete freedom of movement and safe access throughout Somalia. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 58/115, 17 December 2003, preamble and § 9, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and the protection of United Nations personnel, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all Governments and parties in complex humanitarian emergencies, in particular in armed conflicts and in post-conflict situations, in countries in which humanitarian personnel are operating, in conformity with the relevant provisions of international law and national laws, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies and organizations and to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel in order to allow them to perform efficiently their task of assisting the affected civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced persons. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 58/122, 17 December 2003, § 5, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on special assistance for the economic recovery and reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN General Assembly:
Urges all parties to fully respect international humanitarian law and to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel to all affected populations throughout the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the safety of United Nations and humanitarian personnel. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 58/123, 17 December 2003, § 13, voting record: 169-1-0-21.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN General Assembly called upon the Government of Myanmar:
To immediately secure the safe and unhindered access to all parts of Myanmar of the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance and to guarantee that it reaches the most vulnerable groups of the population. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 58/247, 23 December 2003, § 4(c), adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on assistance to the Palestinian people, the UN General Assembly stressed “the importance of ensuring the free passage of aid to the Palestinian people and the free movement of persons and goods”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/56, 2 December 2004, § 10, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations, the UN General Assembly:
Gravely concerned also about the lack of access by humanitarian personnel to victims of humanitarian emergencies, in particular in armed conflict and in post-conflict situations, in many regions of the world,
11. Emphasizes the fundamentally civilian character of humanitarian assistance, reaffirms the leading role of civilian organizations in implementing humanitarian assistance, particularly in areas affected by conflicts, and affirms the need, in situations where military capacity and assets are used to support the implementation of humanitarian assistance, for their use to be in conformity with international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles;
18. Calls upon all Governments and parties in complex humanitarian emergencies, in particular in armed conflicts and in post-conflict situations, in countries in which humanitarian personnel are operating, in conformity with the relevant provisions of international law and national laws, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies and organizations and to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel as well as supplies and equipment in order to allow them to perform efficiently their task of assisting the affected civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced persons.  
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/141, 15 December 2004, preamble and §§ 11 and 18, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on a new international humanitarian order, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all Governments and parties in complex humanitarian emergencies, in particular armed conflicts and post-conflict situations, in countries in which humanitarian personnel are operating, in conformity with the relevant provisions of international law and national laws, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies and organizations and to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel in order to allow them to perform efficiently their task of assisting the affected civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced persons. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/171, 20 December 2004, § 3, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all Governments and parties in complex humanitarian emergencies, in particular in armed conflicts and in post-conflict situations, in countries in which humanitarian personnel are operating, in conformity with the relevant provisions of international law and national laws, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies and organizations and to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel in order to allow them to perform efficiently their task of assisting the affected civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced persons. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/211, 20 December 2004, § 4, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the rights of the child, the UN General Assembly called upon States to “protect children affected by armed conflict … and to ensure that they receive timely, effective humanitarian assistance in accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and international humanitarian law”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/261, 23 December 2004, § 48(d), voting record: 166-2-1-22.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN General Assembly called upon the Government of Myanmar:
To immediately ensure the safe and unhindered access to all parts of Myanmar of the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations so as to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance and to guarantee that it reaches the most vulnerable groups of the population, including internally displaced persons and returnees. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/263, 23 December 2004, § 3(k), adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all Governments and parties in complex humanitarian emergencies, in particular in armed conflicts and in post-conflict situations, in countries in which humanitarian personnel are operating, in conformity with the relevant provisions of international law and national laws, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies and organizations and to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel and delivery of supplies and equipment in order to allow those personnel to perform efficiently their task of assisting the affected civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced persons. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/123, 15 December 2005, § 4, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations, the UN General Assembly:
2. Calls upon all Governments and parties in complex humanitarian emergencies, in particular in armed conflicts and in post-conflict situations, in countries in which humanitarian personnel are operating, in conformity with the relevant provisions of international law and national laws, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies and organizations and to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel and delivery of supplies and equipment in order to allow them to perform efficiently their task of assisting the affected civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced persons;
7. Emphasizes the fundamentally civilian character of humanitarian assistance, reaffirms the leading role of civilian organizations in implementing humanitarian assistance, particularly in areas affected by conflicts, and affirms the need, in situations where military capacity and assets are used to support the implementation of humanitarian assistance, for their use to be in conformity with international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/124, 15 December 2005, §§ 2 and 7, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on assistance to the Palestinian people, the UN General Assembly stressed “the importance of ensuring the free passage of aid to the Palestinian people and the free movement of persons and goods”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/126, 15 December 2005, § 11, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on assistance for humanitarian relief and the economic and social rehabilitation of Somalia, the UN General Assembly:
Recalling the statements by the President of the Security Council of 31 October 2001 and 28 March 2002, by which the Council condemned attacks on humanitarian personnel and called upon all parties in Somalia to respect fully the security and safety of personnel of the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and non-governmental organizations, and to guarantee their complete freedom of movement and access throughout Somalia,
3. Urges … the Somali leaders to make every effort to create conditions to help to increase the effectiveness of humanitarian assistance by, inter alia, improving the security situation on the ground;
10. Urges the Somali parties to respect the security and safety of the personnel of the United Nations, the specialized agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and non-governmental organizations, as well as all other humanitarian personnel, and to guarantee their complete freedom of movement and safe access throughout Somalia. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/219, 22 December 2005, preamble and §§ 3 and 10, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the rights of the child, the UN General Assembly called upon States to “protect children affected by armed conflict … and to ensure that they receive timely, effective humanitarian assistance in accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and international humanitarian law”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/231, 23 December 2005, § 33(c), voting record: 130-1-0-60.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN General Assembly strongly called upon the Government of Myanmar:
To ensure immediately safe and unhindered access to all parts of Myanmar for the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations and to cooperate fully with those organizations so as to ensure that humanitarian assistance is delivered in accordance with humanitarian principles and reaches the most vulnerable groups of the population in accordance with international law, including applicable international humanitarian law. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/233, 23 December 2005, § 3(m), adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted during an emergency special session in 2006 entitled “Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory”, the UN General Assembly:
Reaffirming also the applicability of the rules and principles of international law, including humanitarian and human rights laws, in particular the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,
4. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to scrupulously abide by its obligations and responsibilities under the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;
7. Expresses grave concern about the dire humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people, and calls for the continued provision of emergency assistance to them;
8. Emphasizes the urgency of ensuring that medical and humanitarian organizations are granted unhindered access to the Palestinian civilian population at all times and of allowing the severely injured a speedy exit outside the Occupied Palestinian Territory for needed treatment, and emphasizes also the importance of the implementation of the Agreement of Movement and Access of November 2005. 
UN General Assembly, Res. ES-10/16, 17 November 2006, preamble and §§ 4 and 7–8, voting record: 156-7-6-22.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the situation in Afghanistan, the UN General Assembly urged the Government of Afghanistan and local authorities to “take all possible steps to ensure the safe and unhindered access of United Nations, development and humanitarian personnel to all affected populations”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/18, 28 November 2006, § 6, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all Governments and parties in complex humanitarian emergencies, in particular in armed conflicts and in post-conflict situations, in countries in which humanitarian personnel are operating, in conformity with the relevant provisions of international law and national laws, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies and organizations and to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel and delivery of supplies and equipment in order to allow those personnel to perform efficiently their task of assisting the affected civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced persons.  
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/133, 14 December 2006, § 4, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations, the UN General Assembly:
Reaffirming the principles of neutrality, humanity, impartiality and independence for the provision of humanitarian assistance,
5. Emphasizes the fundamentally civilian character of humanitarian assistance, reaffirms the leading role of civilian organizations in implementing humanitarian assistance, particularly in areas affected by conflicts, and affirms the need, in situations where military capacity and assets are used to support the implementation of humanitarian assistance, for their use to be in conformity with international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles;
20. Calls upon all States and parties in complex humanitarian emergencies, in particular in armed conflicts and in post-conflict situations, in countries in which humanitarian personnel are operating, in conformity with the relevant provisions of international law and national laws, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies and organizations and to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel as well as delivery of supplies and equipment in order to allow them to perform efficiently their task of assisting the affected civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced persons. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/134, 14 December 2006, preamble and §§ 5 and 20, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on assistance to the Palestinian people, the UN General Assembly stressed “the importance of ensuring the free passage of aid to the Palestinian people and the free movement of persons and goods”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/135, 14 December 2006, § 12, voting record: 159-0-7-26.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the rights of the child, the UN General Assembly called upon States to “protect children affected by armed conflict … and to ensure that they receive timely, effective humanitarian assistance in accordance with international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/146, 19 December 2006, § 36(e), voting record: 185-1-0-6.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN General Assembly strongly called on the Government of Myanmar:
To ensure immediately safe and unhindered access to all parts of Myanmar for the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations and to cooperate fully with those organizations so as to ensure that humanitarian assistance is delivered in accordance with humanitarian principles and reaches the most vulnerable groups of the population in accordance with international law, including applicable international humanitarian law. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/232, 22 December 2006, § 3(j), voting record: 82-25-45-40.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the situation in Afghanistan, the UN General Assembly urged the Government of Afghanistan and local authorities to “take all possible steps to ensure the safe and unhindered access of United Nations, development and humanitarian personnel to all affected populations”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/6, 11 November 2007, § 6, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on assistance to the Palestinian people, the UN General Assembly stressed “the importance of ensuring the free passage of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people and the free movement of persons and goods”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/93, 17 December 2007, § 12, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations, the UN General Assembly:
Reaffirming the principles of neutrality, humanity, impartiality and independence for the provision of humanitarian assistance,
6. Emphasizes the fundamentally civilian character of humanitarian assistance, reaffirms the leading role of civilian organizations in implementing humanitarian assistance, particularly in areas affected by conflicts, and affirms the need, in situations where military capacity and assets are used to support the implementation of humanitarian assistance, for their use to be in conformity with international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles;
24. Calls upon all States and parties in complex humanitarian emergencies, in particular in armed conflicts and in post-conflict situations, in countries in which humanitarian personnel are operating, in conformity with the relevant provisions of international law and national laws, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies and organizations and to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel as well as delivery of supplies and equipment in order to allow them to perform efficiently their task of assisting the affected civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced persons. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/94, 17 December 2007, preamble and §§ 6 and 24, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all Governments and parties in complex humanitarian emergencies, in particular in armed conflicts and in post-conflict situations, in countries in which humanitarian personnel are operating, in conformity with the relevant provisions of international law and national laws, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies and organizations and to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel and delivery of supplies and equipment, in order to allow those personnel to perform efficiently their task of assisting the affected civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced persons. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/95, 17 December 2007, preamble and § 4, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the rights of the child, the UN General Assembly called upon States to “protect children affected by armed conflict … and to ensure that they receive timely, effective humanitarian assistance, in accordance with international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/141, 18 December 2007, § 41(e), voting record: 183-1-0-8.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN General Assembly:
4. Strongly calls upon the Government of Myanmar:
(f) To ensure immediately safe and unhindered access to all parts of Myanmar, including conflict and border areas, for the United Nations, international humanitarian organizations and their partners and to cooperate fully with those organizations in order to ensure that humanitarian assistance is delivered to all persons in need throughout the country;
5. Calls upon the Government of Myanmar:
(i) To allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to carry out its humanitarian activities for people in need, in particular by granting immediate access to persons detained and by providing the necessary information on persons unaccounted for in connection with recent events. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/222, 22 December 2007, §§ 4(f) and 5(i), voting record: 83-22-47-40.
UN Economic and Social Council
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations, ECOSOC:
Recognizing that the affected State has the primary role … in the facilitation of the work of humanitarian organizations,
Recognizing the importance of the principles of neutrality, humanity and impartiality for the provision of humanitarian assistance,
Bearing in mind that reaching the vulnerable is essential for providing adequate protection and assistance in context of natural disasters and complex emergencies as well as for strengthening local capacity to cope with humanitarian needs in such contexts,
7. Calls upon all Governments and parties in complex humanitarian emergencies, in particular in armed conflicts and in post-conflict situations, in countries in which humanitarian personnel are operating, in conformity with the relevant provisions of international law and national laws, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies and organizations and to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel, as well as supplies and equipment, in order to allow them to perform efficiently their task of assisting the affected civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced persons;
21. Affirms the leading role of civilian organizations in implementing humanitarian assistance, particularly in areas affected by conflicts, and also affirms the need, in situations where military capacity and assets are used to support the implementation of humanitarian assistance, that their use be in conformity with international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles. 
ECOSOC, Res. 2003/5, 15 July 2003, preamble and §§ 7 and 21, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1992 on the situation of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission on Human Rights welcomed the proposal of its Special Rapporteur to open humanitarian relief corridors in order to prevent the imminent deaths of tens of thousands of people in the besieged cities. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1992/S-2/1, 1 December 1992, § 15, voting record: 45-1-1.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1993 on the situation of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission on Human Rights urged all States and relevant organizations immediately to give serious consideration to “the call for the opening of humanitarian relief corridors to prevent the imminent death of tens of thousands of persons in besieged cities”.  
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1993/7, 23 February 1993, § 31(a), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on the situation of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission on Human Rights urged all States and relevant organizations to give immediate consideration to the Special Rapporteur’s call “for the opening of humanitarian relief corridors to prevent death and deprivation of the civilian population, and to open Tuzla airport to relief deliveries”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1994/72, 9 March 1994, § 35(a), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Calls again upon the Government of the Sudan and all parties to the conflict to permit international agencies, humanitarian organizations and donor governments to deliver humanitarian assistance to the civilian population and to cooperate with initiatives of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat and Operation Lifeline Sudan to deliver humanitarian assistance to all persons in need. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1995/77, 8 March 1995, § 18, voting record: 33-7-10.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In two resolutions adopted in 1997 and 1998 on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon the Government of the Sudan and all parties to the conflict “to permit international agencies, humanitarian organizations and donor Governments to deliver humanitarian assistance to all war-affected civilians”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1997/59, 15 April 1997, § 18; Res. 1998/67, 21 April 1998, § 3, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1999 on the situation of human rights in East Timor, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon the Government of Indonesia “[t]o ensure immediate access by humanitarian agencies to displaced persons, both in East Timor as well as West Timor and other parts of the Indonesian territory [and] … [t]o continue to allow the deployment of emergency humanitarian assistance”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1999/S-4/1, 27 September 1999, § 5(e) and (f), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2000 on the situation in the Republic of Chechnya of the Russian Federation, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Also urges the Government of the Russian Federation to allow international humanitarian organizations, notably the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross, free and secure access to areas of internally displaced and war affected populations in the Republic of Chechnya and neighbouring republics, in accordance with international humanitarian law, to facilitate … the delivery of humanitarian aid to the victims in the region. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2000/58, 25 April 2000, § 9, voting record: 25-7-19.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN Commission on Human Rights called on the Government of Myanmar to “immediately ensure safe and unhindered access to all parts of Myanmar for the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/12, 16 April 2003, § 4(d), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
2. Expresses its concern at:
(b) The prevailing severe insecurity, particularly in the zones held by armed rebels, which seriously hampers the ability of humanitarian organizations to secure access to affected populations;
4. Urges all parties to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
(j) To ensure the safety and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel and the unhindered access of humanitarian personnel to all affected populations. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/15, 17 April 2003, preamble and §§ 2(b) and 4(j), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation of human rights in Burundi, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
16. Condemns all attacks on humanitarian workers and adjures the parties to the conflict to abstain rigorously from any action liable to hamper humanitarian assistance operations, in order to assure the population easy access to such assistance;
30. Calls upon the Transitional Government to take action to establish a security environment conducive to the work of aid organizations, and invites the United Nations and donors to augment the flow of humanitarian assistance to those in need. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/16, 17 April 2003, §§ 16 and 30, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on human rights and mass exoduses, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Stressing the importance of adherence to international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law in order to avert mass exoduses and displacements and to protect refugees and internally displaced persons, and expressing its deep concern at the lack of respect for those laws and principles, especially during armed conflict, inter alia the denial of full, safe and unimpeded access to displaced persons,
7. … calls upon States to ensure effective protection of, and assistance to, refugees and internally displaced persons, consistent with international law, including by ensuring full, safe and unhindered access by humanitarian workers to displaced populations and ensuring the security and civilian and humanitarian nature of camps and settlements for refugees and internally displaced persons;
8. Urges States to uphold the civilian and humanitarian character of asylum consistent with international law, inter alia through effective measures to prevent the infiltration of armed elements, to identify and separate any such armed elements from refugee populations, to settle refugees at safe locations and to afford prompt, safe and unhindered access to them by humanitarian workers, and notes in this regard Conclusion No. 94 (LIII) adopted by the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/52, 24 April 2003, preamble and §§ 7–8, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon:
All parties throughout Somalia to protect and facilitate the work of United Nations personnel, humanitarian relief workers, human rights defenders and representatives of non-governmental organizations and of the international media, and to guarantee all persons involved in humanitarian action freedom of movement throughout the country and safe and unhindered access to civilians in need of protection and humanitarian assistance. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/78, 25 April 2003, § 8(l), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on internally displaced persons, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Urges all those concerned, as set forth in international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the Regulations of 18 October 1907 annexed to the Hague Convention IV concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, to allow full unimpeded access by humanitarian personnel to all people in need of assistance, and to make available, as far as possible, all necessary facilities for their operations, and to promote the safety, security and freedom of movement of humanitarian personnel and the United Nations and its associated personnel and their assets. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/55, 20 April 2004, § 10, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN Commission on Human Rights called on the Government of Myanmar to “ensure immediately safe and unhindered access to all parts of Myanmar for the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/61, 21 April 2004, § 4(d), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the protection of UN personnel, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon States and others concerned:
To cooperate fully, in conformity with relevant provisions of international law, with United Nations and associated personnel and other personnel carrying out activities in fulfilment of the mandate of a United Nations operation and to ensure their safe and unhindered access in order to allow them to perform efficiently their task of assisting the affected civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced persons. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/77, 21 April 2004, § 4(j), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights, the UN Commission on Human Rights urged:
All parties throughout Somalia to facilitate the delivery of muchneeded humanitarian assistance and to protect and facilitate the work of United Nations personnel, humanitarian relief workers, human rights defenders and representatives of nongovernmental organizations and of the international media, and to guarantee all persons involved in humanitarian action freedom of movement throughout the country and safe and unhindered access to civilians in need of protection and humanitarian assistance.  
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/80, 21 April 2004, § 12(d), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on advisory services and technical assistance in Burundi, the UN Commission on Human Rights called on all parties “to facilitate access for humanitarian personnel to the civilian population affected by the conflict”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/82, 21 April 2004, § 15, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on technical cooperation and advisory services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Commission on Human Rights urged all parties:
To protect human rights and to respect international humanitarian law, in particular by ensuring the safety, security and freedom of movement of all civilians, and that of United Nations personnel and associated personnel, as well as free access for humanitarian personnel to all affected population groups throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/84, 21 April 2004, § 4(g), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
1. Welcomes:
(g) The continued cooperation of Myanmar with the International Committee of the Red Cross;
(h) The access to the eastern part of Myanmar by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;
5. Also calls upon the Government of Myanmar:
(f) To ensure immediately safe and unhindered access to all parts of Myanmar for the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/10, 14 April 2005, §§ 1(g)–(h) and 5(f), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the rights of the child, the UN Commission on Human Rights urged “all parties to armed conflict to end … violations against children, including … denial of humanitarian access”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/44, 19 April 2005, § 36, voting record: 52-1-0.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on internally displaced persons, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
3. Expresses concern at the persistent problems of large numbers of internally displaced persons worldwide, in particular … their limited access to humanitarian assistance …
10. Calls upon Governments to provide protection and assistance, including reintegration and development assistance, to internally displaced persons, to develop national policies aimed at addressing their plight, as well as to ensure that they benefit from public services, in particular basic social services such as health services and education, based on the principle of nondiscrimination, and to facilitate the efforts of relevant United Nations agencies and humanitarian organizations in these respects, including by improving access to internally displaced persons;
11. Urges all those concerned, as set forth in international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions, of 12 August 1949, and the Regulations of 18 October 1907 annexed to the Hague Convention IV concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, to allow full unimpeded access by humanitarian personnel to all people in need of assistance, and to make available, as far as possible, all necessary facilities for their operations, and to promote the safety, security and freedom of movement of humanitarian personnel and the United Nations and its associated personnel and their assets;
12. Encourages all Governments, in particular Governments of countries with situations of internal displacement, to facilitate United Nations activities and to respond favourably to requests for visits as well as for information, and urges Governments as well as the relevant parts of the United Nations system, also at the country level, to follow up effectively on United Nations recommendations and to make available information on measures taken in this regard. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/46, 19 April 2005, §§ 3 and 10–12, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on human rights and mass exoduses, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Stressing the importance of adherence to international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law in order to avert mass exoduses and displacements, to mitigate their effects and to protect refugees and internally displaced persons at all stages of the displacement cycle, and expressing its deep concern at the lack of respect for those laws and principles, especially during armed conflict, including, inter alia, the denial of full, safe and unimpeded access to displaced persons by humanitarian workers,
8. Also calls upon States to ensure effective protection of, and assistance to, refugees and internally displaced persons at all stages of the displacement cycle, consistent with international law, including by ensuring full, safe and unhindered access by humanitarian workers to displaced populations and ensuring the security and civilian and humanitarian nature of camps and settlements for refugees and internally displaced persons;
9. Urges States to uphold the civilian and humanitarian character of asylum consistent with international law, inter alia through effective measures to prevent the infiltration of armed elements, to identify and separate any such armed elements from refugee populations, to settle refugees at safe locations and to afford prompt, safe and unhindered access to them by humanitarian workers, and notes in this regard conclusion No. 94 (LIII) adopted by the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/48, 19 April 2005, preamble and §§ 8–9, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on technical cooperation and advisory services in Nepal, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Calls upon all parties to the conflict to respect human rights and international humanitarian law, in particular common article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, as well as to act in conformity with all other relevant standards relating to the protection of civilians, particularly of women and children, and to allow the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian organizations to those in need of assistance. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/78, 20 April 2005, § 7, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon all parties to the conflict to “observe the humanitarian ceasefire and grant immediate, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to Darfur and elsewhere in the Sudan”.  
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/82, 21 April 2005, § 3(c), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon all parties to “guarantee also to all persons involved in humanitarian action, including international media, their complete freedom of movement and safe and unhindered access to civilians in need of protection and humanitarian assistance throughout the country”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/83, 21 April 2005, § 9(a), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on technical cooperation and advisory services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Urges all parties to protect human rights and to respect international humanitarian law, in particular by ensuring the safety, security and freedom of movement of all civilians, as well as free access for humanitarian personnel to all affected population groups throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/85, 21 April 2005, § 5(d), adopted without a vote.
UN Human Rights Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN Human Rights Council urged the Government of Myanmar “to cooperate fully with humanitarian organizations, including by ensuring full, safe and unhindered access of humanitarian assistance to all persons in need throughout the country”. 
UN Human Rights Council, Res. S-5/1, 2 October 2007, § 8, adopted without a vote.
UN Human Rights Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN Human Rights Council urged the Government of Myanmar “to cooperate fully with humanitarian organizations, including by ensuring full, safe and unhindered access of humanitarian assistance to all persons in need throughout the country”. 
UN Human Rights Council, Res. 6/33, 14 December 2007, § 9, adopted without a vote.
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on the situation of human rights in Iraq, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights appealed “to the international community, to the organizations of the United Nations system and to the Government of Iraq to facilitate the delivery and distribution of medicines and foodstuffs to the population of the various parts of the country”. 
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1995/3, 18 August 1995, § 4.
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1996 on the situation of human rights in Iraq, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights demanded that “the Government of Iraq immediately withdraw its military forces surrounding the marshlands regions in the south to allow access for the distribution by the United Nations of humanitarian supplies in this region”.  
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1996/5, 19 August 1996, § 3.
UN Secretary-General
In 1992, in a report on the situation in Somalia, the UN Secretary-General noted that the two main factions of the United Somali Congress had agreed that a number of sites in Mogadishu, namely the port, airports, hospitals, NGO locations and routes to and from food and non-food distribution points be declared “corridors and zones of peace”. Furthermore, he stated that “‘corridors of peace’ for the safe passage of relief workers and supplies and ‘zones of peace’ to enable target groups to receive assistance are of paramount importance”. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on the situation in Somalia, Addendum: Consolidated Inter-Agency 90-day Plan of Action for Emergency Humanitarian Assistance to Somalia, UN Doc. S/23829/Add.1, 21 April 1992, §§ 59 and 96.
UN Secretary-General
In 1998, in a report on protection for humanitarian assistance to refugees and others in conflict situations, the UN Secretary-General stated:
States have primary responsibility for ensuring that refugees, displaced persons and other vulnerable populations in conflict situations benefit from the necessary assistance and protection and that United Nations and other humanitarian organizations have safe and unimpeded access to these groups. However, States themselves often deny humanitarian access and defend their actions by appealing to the principle of national sovereignty in matters deemed essentially within their domestic jurisdiction. While full respect must be shown for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the States concerned, where States are unable or unwilling to meet their responsibilities towards refugees and others in conflict situations, the international community should ensure that victims receive the assistance and protection they need to safeguard their lives. Such action should not be regarded as interference in the armed conflict or as an unfriendly act so long as it is undertaken in an impartial and non-coercive manner. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on protection for humanitarian assistance to refugees and others in conflict situations, UN Doc. S/1998/883, 22 September 1998, § 16.
UN Secretary-General
In 1999, in a report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the UN Secretary-General stated:
It is the obligation of States to ensure that affected populations have access to the assistance they require for their survival. If a State is unable to fulfil its obligation, the international community has a responsibility to ensure that humanitarian aid is provided. The rapid deployment of humanitarian assistance operations is critical when responding to the needs of civilians affected by armed conflict. Effective and timely humanitarian action requires unhindered access to those in need. Thus, humanitarian organizations are involved on a daily basis in negotiations with the parties to conflicts to obtain and maintain safe access to civilians in need, as well as guarantees of security for humanitarian personnel. In order to fulfil this task, humanitarian actors must be able to maintain a dialogue with relevant non-state actors without thereby lending them any political legitimacy. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, UN Doc. S/1999/957, 8 September 1999, § 51.
UN Secretary-General
In 2001, in a report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the UN Secretary-General stated:
14. In many conflicts, safe and unhindered access to vulnerable civilian populations is granted only sporadically, and is often subject to conditions, delayed, or even bluntly denied. The consequences for those populations are often devastating: entire communities are deprived of even basic assistance and protection.
20. Where Governments are prevented from reaching civilians because they are under the control of armed groups, they must allow impartial actors to carry out their humanitarian task. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, UN Doc. S/2001/331, 30 March 2001, §§ 14 and 20.
In the report, the Secretary-General urged “the [Security] Council to actively engage the parties to each conflict in a dialogue aimed at sustaining safe access for humanitarian operations, and to demonstrate its willingness to act where such access is denied”. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, UN Doc. S/2001/331, 30 March 2001, Recommendation 4.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
In 1999, in a report on the human rights situation in East Timor, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated: “The Indonesian authorities must facilitate the immediate access of aid agencies to those in need … Air-drops must be deployed to assist the displaced.” 
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report on the human rights situation in East Timor, UN Doc. E/CN.4/S-4/CRP.1, 17 September 1999, § 51.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
The Principles of Engagement for Emergency Humanitarian Assistance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in and annexed to the 2000 United Nations Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeal for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while referring explicitly to the Code of Conduct of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief, consider unimpeded access to affected populations to be of fundamental importance in order to ensure humanitarian assistance. The Principles, which are addressed to the international humanitarian community as well as to the political and military authorities, state:
Parties to the conflict should ensure unimpeded access for assessment, delivery and monitoring of humanitarian aid to potential beneficiaries. The assistance to affected areas should be provided in the most efficient manner and by the most accessible routes. 
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeal for the Democratic Republic of Congo (January-December 2000), November 1999, Annex II, Principles of Engagement for Emergency Humanitarian Assistance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, p. 67, §§ 1 and 2.
ACP-EU Joint Assembly
In a resolution on the Sudan adopted in 1997, the ACP-EU Joint Assembly requested that the UN “challenge the Government of Sudan to ensure immediate and free access for humanitarian organizations and Operation Lifeline Sudan”. 
ACP-EU, Joint Assembly, Resolution on Sudan, 20 March 1997, § 3.
Council of Europe Committee of Ministers
In a declaration on Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted in 1994, the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers requested “all parties involved in the conflict to allow unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid”. 
Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, Declaration on Bosnia and Herzegovina, 14 February 1994, § 6.
EU Presidency
In a declaration before the Permanent Council of the OSCE in 1995, the Presidency of the EU insisted that all facilities be given so as to allow the unimpeded and rapid delivery of medical and humanitarian aid in Chechnya. 
EU, Statement by the Presidency of the EU before the Permanent Council of the OSCE, 2 February 1995, § 2.
European Union
In 1994, during a debate in the UN General Assembly on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EU requested “free and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian supplies and the re-opening of Tuzla airport”. 
EU, Statement of Germany on behalf of the EU before the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/49/PV.50, 3 November 1994, p. 19.
European Union Council
In a Common Position adopted in 1998, the Council of the EU stated that the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia must grant access in Kosovo to the ICRC and other humanitarian organizations. 
EU, Council of the EU, Common Position, 19 March 1998, preamble.
European Union Council
In a declaration on Kosovo in 1998, the Council of the EU called upon the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia “to facilitate … unimpeded access for humanitarian organisations”. 
EU, Council of the EU, Declaration on Kosovo, 15 June 1998.
European Parliament
In a resolution on Kosovo adopted in 1998, the European Parliament emphasized “the need for free and unrestricted access [to Kosovo] for international humanitarian organisations, such as the UNHCR and ICRC”. 
European Parliament, Resolution on Kosovo, 16 July 1998, preamble, § I; Resolution on the situation in Kosovo, 8 October 1998, preamble, § K.
OSCE Permanent Council
In a resolution on Chechnya adopted in 1995, the Permanent Council of the OSCE called upon all parties to the conflict to ensure “full respect for international humanitarian law in the region of the Chechen crisis” and “free access to all areas of the region of the Chechen crisis for ICRC and UNHCR and all other humanitarian organisations active in the region”. 
OSCE, Permanent Council, Resolution on Chechnya, 3 February 1995, §§ 6 and 10.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1981)
The 24th International Conference of the Red Cross in 1981 adopted a resolution on respect for international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles and support for the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross in which it made a solemn appeal that “the ICRC be granted all the facilities necessary to discharge the humanitarian mandate confided to it by the international community”. 
24th International Conference of the Red Cross, Manila, 7–14 November 1981, Res. VI.
CSCE Helsinki Summit (1992)
In 1992, at the Helsinki Summit of Heads of State or Government, CSCE participating States reaffirmed their commitment to “exhort all efforts to ensure access to the areas concerned” for the ICRC, Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and UN organizations. 
CSCE, Helsinki Summit of Heads of State or Government, 9–10 July 1992, Helsinki Document 1992: The Challenges of Change, Decisions, Chapter VI: The Human Dimension, § 51.
Inter-Parliamentary Conference (1992)
In a resolution on Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted in 1992, the 88th Inter-Parliamentary Conference in Stockholm insisted that “access be ensured for humanitarian assistance to all those in need”. 
88th Inter-Parliamentary Conference, Stockholm, 7–12 September 1992, Resolution on support to the recent international initiatives to halt the violence and put an end to the violations of human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, § 4.
International Conference for the Protection of War Victims
In the Final Declaration of the International Conference for the Protection of War Victims in 1993, the participants urged all States to make every effort:
to provide the necessary support to the humanitarian organizations entrusted with granting protection and assistance to the victims of armed conflicts and … facilitate speedy and effective relief operations by granting to those humanitarian organizations access to the affected areas … in conformity with applicable rules of international humanitarian law. 
International Conference for the Protection of War Victims, Geneva, 30 August–1 September 1993, Final Declaration, § II(8), ILM, Vol. 33, 1994, p. 301.
Inter-Parliamentary Conference (1993)
In a resolution adopted in 1993 on respect for international humanitarian law and support for humanitarian action in armed conflicts, the 90th Inter-Parliamentary Conference in Canberra welcomed “the fact that the United Nations has recently reaffirmed the concept of humanitarian assistance, including relief for civilian populations and the idea of establishing security corridors to ensure the free access of this relief to the victims”. It also called on “all States to understand the meaning of humanitarian action so as to avoid hindering it, to ensure rapid and effective relief operations by guaranteeing safe access to the regions affected”. 
90th Inter-Parliamentary Conference, Canberra, 13–18 September 1993, Resolution on respect for international humanitarian law and support for humanitarian action in armed conflicts, preamble and § 2(i).
International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1995)
The 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 1995 adopted a resolution on protection of the civilian population in period of armed conflict in which it emphasized “the importance for humanitarian organisations to have unimpeded access in times of armed conflict to civilian populations in need, in accordance with the applicable rules of international humanitarian law”. The Conference further stressed the obligation of all parties to a conflict “to accept, under the conditions prescribed by international humanitarian law, impartial humanitarian relief operations for the civilian population when it lacks supplies essential to its survival”. 
26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 3–7 December 1995, Res. II, §§ A(i) and E(b).
International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1995)
The 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 1995 adopted a resolution on the principles and action in international humanitarian assistance and protection in which it called upon States, in situations where economic sanctions were imposed, “to permit relief operations of a strictly humanitarian character for the benefit of the most vulnerable groups within the civilian population, when required by international humanitarian law”. 
26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 3–7 December 1995, Res. IV, § F(2).
G8 Meeting of Foreign Ministers
In a meeting in 1999, the Foreign Ministers of the G8 adopted, as a general principle on the political solution of the Kosovo crisis, the “unimpeded access to Kosovo by humanitarian aid organizations”. 
G8, Statement by the Chairman on the conclusion of the meeting of the Foreign Ministers, Petersberg Centre, 6 May 1999, annexed to UN Security Council, Res. 1244, 10 June 1999, Annex 1.
International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1999)
The Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003 adopted in 1999 by the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent proposed that all the parties to an armed conflict take effective measures to ensure that:
every possible effort is made to provide the civilian population with all essential goods and services for its survival; [and that] rapid and unimpeded access to the civilian population is given to impartial humanitarian organizations in accordance with international humanitarian law in order that they can provide assistance and protection to the population.
It further proposed that:
conditions of security are guaranteed in order that the ICRC, in accordance with international humanitarian law, has access to, and can remain present in, all situations of armed conflict to protect the victims thereof and, in cooperation with National Societies and the International Federation, to provide them with the necessary assistance. 
27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 31 October–6 November 1999, Res. I, Annex 2, Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003, Actions proposed for final goal 1.1, §§ 1(g) and 4.
African Parliamentary Conference on International Humanitarian Law for the Protection of Civilians during Armed Conflict
The Final Declaration adopted in 2002 by the African Parliamentary Conference on International Humanitarian Law for the Protection of Civilians during Armed Conflict stressed that “we … undertake to act in order to offer humanitarian organizations unimpeded access in time of armed conflict to civilian populations in need and to facilitate the free flow of relief materials”. 
African Parliamentary Conference on International Humanitarian Law for the Protection of Civilians during Armed Conflict, Niamey, 18–20 February 2002, Final Declaration, § 14.
No data.
ICRC
The ICRC Commentary on the Additional Protocols, in analysing Article 18(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol II, notes:
The fact that consent is required does not mean that the decision is left to the discretion of the parties. If the survival of the population is threatened and a humanitarian organization fulfilling the required conditions of impartiality and non-discrimination is able to remedy this situation, relief actions must take place. In fact, they are the only way of combating starvation when local resources have been exhausted. The authorities responsible for safeguarding the population in the whole of the territory of the State cannot refuse such relief without good grounds. Such a refusal would be equivalent to a violation of the rule prohibiting the use of starvation as a method of combat as the population would be left deliberately to die of hunger without any measures being taken. 
Yves Sandoz et al. (eds.), Commentary on the Additional Protocols, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 4885.
ICRC
In an appeal issued in 1979 with respect to the conflict in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, the ICRC specifically requested that the Transitional Government of Salisbury “permit continued material and medical relief assistance, by the ICRC and other humanitarian organizations, to the civilian population in need as a consequence of the hostilities, and allow the ICRC to resume its relief distribution in those areas where they have been forbidden by the security forces”. 
ICRC, Conflict in Southern Africa: ICRC appeal, 19 March 1979, § 6, IRRC, No. 209, 1979, p. 89.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1984 concerning the victims of the Afghan conflict, the ICRC stated:
In spite of repeated offers of services to the Afghan government and representations to the government of the USSR, the ICRC has only on two occasions – during brief missions in 1980 and 1982 – been authorized to act inside Afghanistan. Consequently, the ICRC has to date been able to carry out very few of the assistance and protection activities urgently needed by the numerous victims of the conflict on Afghan territory. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1488, Victims of the Afghan conflict: Position of the ICRC, 20 May 1984.
ICRC
The ICRC Annual Report for 1986 details the difficulties faced by the organization in its operations in southern Sudan. The report recounts how “time and again, assistance operations ready to be implemented had to be cancelled at the last minute, on account of opposition to ICRC intervention expressed by one or other of the parties to the conflict”. 
ICRC, Annual Report 1986, Geneva, 1987, pp. 24–27.
Council of Delegates (1991)
At its Budapest Session in 1991, the Council of Delegates adopted a resolution on humanitarian assistance in situations of armed conflict in which it called upon all parties to armed conflicts and, where applicable, any High Contracting Party
to allow free passage of medicines and medical equipment, foodstuffs, clothing and other supplies essential to the survival of the civilian population of another Contracting Party, even if the latter is its adversary, it being understood that they are entitled to ensure that the consignments are not diverted from their destination. 
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Council of Delegates, Budapest Session, 28–30 November 1991, Res. 12, § b.
Council of Delegates (1991)
At its Budapest Session in 1991, the Council of Delegates adopted a resolution on the protection of the civilian population against famine in situations of armed conflict, in which it reminded the authorities concerned and the armed forces under their command of “their obligation to apply international humanitarian law, in particular … the obligation to allow humanitarian and impartial relief operations for the civilian population when supplies essential for its survival are lacking”. 
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Council of Delegates, Budapest Session, 28–30 November 1991, Res. 13, § 1.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1992, the ICRC appealed to all the parties to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina “to allow the safe and secure passage of humanitarian aid”. 
ICRC, Press Release, ICRC denies allegations, ICRC Belgrade, 22 May 1992.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1992, the ICRC urgently called on all the parties involved in the conflict in Tajikistan “to facilitate the work of its delegates [on] behalf of all the victims to the conflict”. 
ICRC, Press Release, Tajikistan: ICRC urges respect for humanitarian rules, ICRC Dushanbe, 23 November 1992.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1993 on the situation in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, the ICRC called on all parties “to facilitate ICRC access to all the victims”. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1744, Eastern Bosnia: ICRC unable to assist conflict victims, 17 April 1993.
ICRC
In an appeal issued in 1993 on the situation in central Bosnia and Herzegovina, the ICRC stated that it trusted the parties to “continue to grant its representatives free access to the civilian population in order to assist all victims affected by the fightings throughout Central Bosnia”. 
ICRC, Press Release, ICRC Appeal for respect for international humanitarian law in central Bosnia, ICRC Zagreb, 20 April 1993.
ICRC
In a communication to the press in 1993, the ICRC enjoined the parties to the conflict in Somalia “to facilitate relief operations for … the civilian population”. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 93/17, Somalia: ICRC appeals for compliance with international humanitarian law, 17 June 1993.
ICRC
In a communication to the press issued in 1993 concerning the situation in Liberia, the ICRC stated: “The announcement made during the peace negotiations in Geneva that the parties agreed to let humanitarian aid reach all those in need is encouraging for the ICRC, which insists on immediate implementation of the agreement.” 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 93/22, Liberia: ICRC Concerned about 110,000 People Facing Starvation, 22 July 1993.
Council of Delegates (1993)
At its Birmingham Session in 1993, the Council of Delegates adopted a resolution on principles of humanitarian assistance in which it noted that States had
the duty – which is in the first instance theirs – to assist people who are placed de jure or de facto under their authority and, should they fail to discharge this duty, the obligation to authorize humanitarian organizations to provide such assistance, to grant such organizations access to the victims and to protect their action. 
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Council of Delegates, Birmingham Session, 29–30 October 1993, Res. 11, § 1(b).
ICRC
In 1994, in a Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, the ICRC stated:
The parties to the conflict have a duty to ensure the provision of supplies essential to the survival of the civilian population in the territory under their control and to allow unimpeded passage of assistance for the civilian population in territories under the control of the adverse party … [I]f the civilian population is not adequately provided for, relief actions which are exclusively humanitarian and impartial in character and conducted without any adverse distinction, such as those undertaken by the ICRC, shall be authorized, facilitated and respected. 
ICRC, Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, 8 June 1994, § IV, IRRC, No. 320, 1997, p. 505.
ICRC
In 1994, in a Memorandum on Compliance with International Humanitarian Law by the Forces Participating in Opération Turquoise in the Great Lakes region, the ICRC stated: “Relief operations aimed at the civilian population which are exclusively humanitarian, impartial and non-discriminatory shall be facilitated and respected.” 
ICRC, Memorandum on Compliance with International Humanitarian Law by the Forces Participating in Opération Turquoise, Geneva, 23 June 1994, § IV, reprinted in Marco Sassòli and Antoine A. Bouvier, How Does Law Protect in War?, ICRC, Geneva, 1999, p. 1309.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1994, the ICRC urgently called on all the parties involved in the conflict in Chechnya “to facilitate its delegates’ humanitarian work”. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1793, Chechnya: ICRC urges respect for humanitarian rules, 28 November 1994.
ICRC
In a communication to the press issued in 1997 in connection with the conflict in Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo), the ICRC requested that the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo/Zaire grant its delegates unrestricted access to victims of the armed conflict. It further demanded that all concerned provide “immediate access to these people in desperate need of help”. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 97/08, Zaire: ICRC demands access to conflict victims, 2 April 1997.
ICRC
In a communication to the press issued in 2001 on the situation in Afghanistan, the ICRC stated:
The warring parties have the duty to ensure that the basic needs of the civilian population in the territory under their control are met as far as possible and to allow the passage of essential relief supplies intended for civilians. They must authorize and facilitate impartial humanitarian relief operations. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 01/47, Afghanistan: ICRC calls on all parties to conflict to respect international humanitarian law, 24 October 2001.
Institute of International Law
In a resolution adopted at its Wiesbaden Session in 1975, the Institute of International Law stated:
In cases where the territory controlled by one party can be reached only by crossing the territory controlled by the other party … free passage over such territory should be granted to any relief consignment, at least insofar as is provided for in Article 23 [of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV]. 
Institute of International Law, Wiesbaden Session, Resolution III, The Principle of Non-Intervention in Civil Wars, 14 August 1975, Article 4.2.
Institute of International Law
In a resolution adopted at its Santiago de Compostela Session in 1989, the Institute of International Law stated: “States should not arbitrarily reject assistance.” 
Institute of International Law, Santiago de Compostela Session, Resolution III, The Protection of Human Rights and the Principle of Non-intervention in Internal Affairs of States, 13 September 1989, Article 5.
International Institute of Humanitarian Law
The Guiding Principles on the Right to Humanitarian Assistance, adopted by the Council of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in 1993, state:
National authorities, national and international organizations whose statutory mandates provide for the possibility of rendering humanitarian assistance, such as the ICRC, UNHCR, other organizations of the UN system, and professional humanitarian organizations, have the right to offer such assistance when the conditions laid down in the present Principles are fulfilled. This offer should not be regarded as an unfriendly act or as interference in a State’s internal affairs. The authorities of the States concerned, in the exercise of their sovereign right, should extend their cooperation concerning the offer of humanitarian assistance to their populations.
For the implementation of the right to humanitarian assistance it is essential to ensure the access of victims to potential donors, and access of qualified national and international organizations, States and other donors to the victims when their offer of humanitarian assistance is accepted.
In order to verify whether the relief operation or assistance rendered is in conformity with the relevant rules and declared objectives, the authorities concerned may exercise the necessary control, on condition that such control does not unduly delay the providing of humanitarian assistance. 
International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Guiding Principles on the Right to Humanitarian Assistance, Principles 5, 6 and 12, IRRC, No. 297, 1993, pp. 522–523 and 525.
União Nacional para Independência Total de Angola (UNITA)
In 1996, in a statement on the humanitarian situation in Angola, UNITA stated:
All of the UNITA political, military and administrative authorities, and its militants, in areas under its control, have been directed to provide full cooperation and facilities to humanitarian organizations … in order to best carry out their activities. 
UNITA, General Secretariat & General Staff, Statement on the Humanitarian Situation in Angola, Bailundo, 1 January 1996, § 5.
DRC Pledge of Commitment
In 2008, the armed groups party to the DRC Pledge of Commitment, “deeply deploring the insecurity that has prevailed for a long time in the province of North Kivu, causing massive displacements of populations and enormous suffering of civilians as well as massive violations of human rights”, made a commitment to strictly observe “rules of international humanitarian law and human rights law, notably … [to] create conditions favourable to the provision of humanitarian assistance and emergency aid to the civilian population.” 
Acte d’engagement signé par le CNDP-Mouvement Politico-Militaire, la PARECO/FAP, les Mai-Mai Kasindien, les Mai-Mai Kifuafua, les Mai-Mai Vurondo, les Mai-Mai Mongol, l’UJPS, les Mai-Mai Rwenzori et le Simba avec l’engagement solennel des Représentants de la Communauté Internationale, facilitateurs du présent acte d’engagement – les Nations-Unies, la Conférence Internationale sur la Région des Grands Lacs, les Etats-Unis d’Amérique, l’Union Africaine, l’Union Européenne et le Gouvernement (Pledge of Commitment signed by the CNDP-Mouvement Politico-Militaire, PARECO/FAP, Mai-Mai Kasindien, Mai-Mai Kifuafua, Mai-Mai Vurondo, Mai-Mai Mongol, UJPS, Mai-Mai Rwenzori and Simba with the solemn commitment of the representatives of the international community, facilitators of this pledge of commitment – the United Nations, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, the United States of America, the European Union and the Government), Goma, 23 January 2008, Preamble and Article III, §§ 1–5.