Practice Relating to Rule 144. Ensuring Respect for International Humanitarian Law Erga Omnes
In 2009, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, Mexico’s permanent representative stated:
The recent crisis in Gaza has shown once again that weapons will not solve the conflict. Only a few weeks after the partial cessation of hostilities, we note with concern that rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel, the most recent of which took place yesterday in Ashkelon, have continued, as have air incursions by the Israel Defense Forces into Gaza. My delegation condemns these acts of violence and once again urges all stakeholders to respect the provisions of international humanitarian law at all times.
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. Here, we recall the importance of implementing the provisions of resolution 1502 (2003) regarding the obligation of all parties involved in an armed conflict to comply fully with the rules and principles of international law applicable to them related to the protection of humanitarian personnel and United Nations and its associated personnel, in particular international humanitarian law, human rights law and refugee law.
In 2009, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, Mexico’s permanent representative stated:
With regard to the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka, we encouraged the Government’s efforts to protect civilians and persons displaced by the conflict. We also called on the parties to always respect international humanitarian law. Furthermore, we repeatedly called on the Government to coordinate its efforts with those of the United Nations agencies in order to evacuate the people trapped by the conflict, as well as to ensure the best possible accommodation and conditions for displaced persons in dignified and safe facilities in which they could receive basic humanitarian assistance, including appropriate care in hospitals. …
With regard to the situation in the Middle East, we have underscored that all parties should constantly abide by the provisions of international humanitarian law, honour their international obligations and avoid actions that may put civilians in danger. …
To conclude, Mexico reiterates the urgent need for all parties to conflict to put an end to flagrant violations against civilian populations. It is essential that the international community focus its attention on … the promotion of a culture of respect for the principles and norms that enshrine the protection of civilians in armed conflict and the eradication of impunity.
In 2009, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the protection of women, peace and security, the permanent representative of Mexico stated that “we wish to reiterate … the primary obligation of all parties to an armed conflict to respect and to enforce at all times international humanitarian law, which grants special protection to women and children.”
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. We call on those States that have not yet done so to accede to all international instruments in the area of international humanitarian law, and on the parties to conflicts to comply with their international obligations. We know very well that the obligation to respect international humanitarian law cannot be fulfilled without due implementation, at the national level, of these international obligations. This is why we would also urge States to incorporate these standards and principles in their national legislation and practices.
In 2010, 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:
The Gaza blockade fosters the illicit trafficking of materials, fuel and food and opens the door to the illicit trafficking of weapons, endangering the security of the entire region. Proof of that has been the increase of rocket attacks against the Israeli civilian population, which in turn have led to new military responses, in a vicious circle. We condemn those acts of violence, especially those targeting civilian populations, and we once again urge all actors to respect at all times the provisions of international humanitarian law.
We are particularly concerned about a renewed spiral of violence that could have devastating effects on civilian populations. The international community should do all that it can to stop that as soon as possible. We therefore emphasize the need to establish an international monitoring mechanism that insures a lasting ceasefire, the opening of border crossings and the control of illicit arms trafficking. We support all initiatives aimed at establishing such a mechanism, including that suggested by the Secretary-General. We await the next report from the Secretary-General regarding violations of international humanitarian law and of human rights committed during the Gaza conflict.
In 2010, during a special session on international humanitarian law of the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs of the Organization of American States (OAS), the representative of Mexico stated:
Mexico’s commitment to ensuring respect for IHL also manifests itself in multilateral forums. As a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and president of its working group on children and armed conflict, Mexico proposed and initiated last August the adoption of [UN Security Council] resolution 1882 which substantially strengthens the protection of children as particularly vulnerable persons in situations of armed conflict.
We believe … that concrete action is necessary to ensure full compliance with the humanitarian norms by all parties to a conflict. Such action may take different forms, including undoubtedly the harmonization of national legislation in conformity with international standards. Cooperation and exchange of experiences [between States], which we seek to achieve in these sessions, the support of regional organisations such as the OAS and its various organs as well as the advice which the ICRC offers are also crucial actions to further this objective.
In 2010, during a debate in the UN Security Council on children in armed conflict, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs stated:
Mexico will continue to guide the work of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict inclusively and with determination and transparency until the end of its mandate as non-permanent member of the Security Council.
We would like to focus on five aspects … [including] ensuring that our recommendations promote full respect for international humanitarian law and human rights by all parties to the conflict.