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GRC urges UN Security Council member states to strengthen action under Resolution 2417 to break the cycle of conflict-induced hunger

11 March 2021

Today, the UN Security Council will meet to discuss conflict and food security, including the implementation of UNSC Resolution 2417 (UNSC 2417).  During the meeting, the UNSC should take decisive steps to strengthen the operation of UNSC 2417, so that it can act preventatively to effectively reduce the use of starvation as a method of warfare and ensure accountability for the commission of starvation as a war crime in conflicts globally.


In a Guidance Note shared with UNSC member States in advance of the meeting, GRC set out the key minimum steps the UNSC should take if it is to achieve the objectives it set when it adopted Resolution 2417. These include:


  • Establishing a UN focal point on UNSC 2417, such as a Special Envoy;


  • Strengthening the operation of UNSC 2417 by ensuring it is referenced and meaningfully incorporated into other UN resolutions, mandates and investigations; forensically exploring the root causes of famine and grave food insecurity and establishing whether those causes violate international law; supporting the collection and dissemination of information and evidence of the use of starvation as a weapon of warfare and measures to hold perpetrators accountable; and taking action against those who may violate international law with the full range of responses and interventions available to the UNSC;


  • When information is made available to the UNSC that parties to a conflict are using starvation as a method of warfare, taking swift action using a range of preventative and accountability-oriented tools available under UNSC 2417 to ensure the civilian population can access humanitarian aid; and


  • Giving immediate attention to the conflict-induced threats of famine or severe food insecurity in the following situations: Yemen, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Northeast Nigeria, the Sahel, Syria, Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo.


To read the Guidance Note, see here.

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