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Vatican envoy reminds UN of rising civilian casualties in warfare

January 20, 2016

In a January 19 to a UN session on protecting civilians from armed conflict, the Vatican's representative called attention to the rising proportion of civilian casualties in modern war.

"In the early 1900s, around 5% of fatalities were civilians, while in the 1990s, over 90% of the fatalities were non-combatants," reported Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the permanent representative of Holy See at UN headquarters in New York. "And it continues to get worse."

Archbishop Auza said that world leaders should denounce the rising trend toward acceptance of civilian casualties; use all means available-- "including the legitimate use of force"-- to stop war crimes and atrocities; empower the UN to stop fighting and protects civilians; hold accountable those who are responsible for the deaths of civilians; and help the innocent victims of warfare.

"The use of civilians as weapons of war represents the worst of human behavior," the archbishop remarked. 


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