“Failure to act is an affront to our shared humanity. It undermines States’ legal obligations and the multilateral system as a whole,” Mr. Ban declared. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer told the Council that States must strengthen domestic legislation to protect access to health care and ensure attacks are punished. “Much stronger engagement is needed to turn your commitment into a reality on the ground, to make a real difference for people suffering in wars. I urge you to continue to push,” he said, referring to a Council resolution in May calling for enhanced protection for health care workers, the sick and wounded, hospitals and clinics in war zones. “Just a few hours ago, the two largest hospitals in Aleppo were reportedly attacked. Patients were killed. Medical staff were injured. And all across the country, many hospitals are no longer functional, leaving injured people with little hope of getting life-saving medical assistance. The violence, the disruption of electricity and water supplies and the lack of medicines have severely jeopardized access to health care,” he warned. Wide view of the Security Council during its meeting on protection of civilians in armed conflict. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard “Failure to act is an affront to our shared humanity. It undermines States’ legal obligations and the multilateral system as a whole,” he told the 15-member body at the start of a debate on the protection and health care facilities caught in armed conflict, noting that nearly 600 such attacks between 2014 and 2015 killed 959 people and injured more than 1,500. “Most heinously, such attacks are often deliberate, to aggravate suffering and force people from contested territory,” he said, stressing that international law is clear that medical workers, facilities and transports must be protected and the wounded and sick, civilians and fighters alike, must be spared. “I urge you to overcome your divisions and meet your responsibilities to prevent and reduce conflict and to build peace and stability,” he added, listing attacks just from this May including one on a hospital in Hajjah, Yemen, where 19 people died, and a suicide bombing in Pakistan on Sandeman Provincial hospital which killed over 70, both last month. In Syria, Aleppo now faces the most sustained and intense bombardment in the more than five years of conflict with hospitals, clinics, ambulances and medical staff under attack around the clock, and 95 per cent of medical personnel who were in the city before the war reported to have fled, been detained or killed. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses Security Council calling “to take decisive steps” in order to protect health care facilities and personnel during conflict. Credit: UN News Centre“Deliberate attacks on hospitals are war crimes. Denying people access to essential health care violates international humanitarian law,” Mr. Ban stressed, outlining three recommendations to the Council. First, with regard to prevention, Member States should do all they can to promote respect for medical care in armed conflict, aligning national legislation with international humanitarian law. Secondly, on protection, Member States and parties to conflict must take precautions to safeguard medical facilities and personnel when they plan and conduct military operations, including in military orders, location of targets, issuing of advance warnings and evacuations. Thirdly, on accountability, Member States and parties to conflict should ensure that those responsible for violations are prosecuted and punished, and provide reparations and support to those affected by such attacks.
Epiroc says it has donated a COP 1238K rock drill to the Excavation Engineering and Earth Mechanics Institute (EMI) at the Colorado School of Mines in the US.The COP 1238K hydraulic rock drill for tunnelling and drifting applications updates testing equipment at EMI, the largest independent rock drilling and excavation research facility in the world, according to Epiroc.Located in Golden, Colorado, the Colorado School of Mines is known globally for its expertise in topics related to earth, energy and the environment. EMI was established in 1974 to enhance education and research in the field of excavation technology for mining and civil underground construction, and the institute has become one of the world’s leading research facilities.Epiroc said: “Over its 45 years of existence, EMI has developed a suite of physical property tests, cutter and cutterhead evaluation procedures for performance prediction, project costing, and design of mechanical rock excavation tools for all types of mechanical excavators in mining, civil underground construction, and microtunneling.“The developed test procedures and performance/cost prediction models have been validated with extensive field data from excavation and drilling projects around the world.”The rock drill donation came about through collaboration between Shawn Cheney, Epiroc Business Line Manager – Rock Drilling Tools, and Jamal Rostami, Director of the Earth Mechanics Institute. A member of the EMI industrial advisory board, Cheney facilitated the donation of the COP 1238K to replace EMI’s decades-old testing drill, Epiroc said. The new test cell installation was completed in February 2019.Cheney said: “Epiroc has tremendous appreciation for and confidence in the work that EMI does. We recently partnered with EMI on a project related to the cutting technology on our Mobile Miner. We’re honoured to donate equipment that will help EMI continue to serve as a valuable resource for the mining and civil underground construction industries.”The COP 1238K is developed to maximise impact power while optimising durability in underground applications, according to Epiroc, with its sweet spot being hole diameters from 2-3½ in (51-89 mm). It has a power rating of 12 kW.The rock drill features a built-in reflex damper that contributes to improved drill steel economy and reduces wear on the rock drill, feed and boom, according to Epiroc. “A powerful stepless variable and reversible rotation motor provides high torque and excellent speed control. In addition, a long, slender piston matched to the drill steel delivers optimal impact power without damaging the drill steel,” the company said.Rostami said: “The COP 1238K rock drill donation gives EMI the opportunity to perform full-scale testing using the latest in rock drilling technology. This test unit will drive research that contributes to more efficient and safer drilling operations in the industries we support.”