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Hunger and armed conflict: when hunger becomes a weapon of war2020-03-19T18:04:13+02:00

Hunger and armed conflict: when hunger becomes a weapon of war

Date: 26.03.2020
Time: 09:00 - 11:30
Location: Albrechtshof
Albrechtstraße 8
10117 Berlin
This event has passed.

Due to the current COVID-19 developments the event will unfortunately be cancelled.

The organizers are currently looking for an event format where physical presence is not necessary. As soon as a practicable alternative has been found, you will be informed here.


One of the central causes of malnutrition and hunger is armed conflict. One striking feature is the increasing deliberate starvation as a method of warfare – a method until recently believed to be left in the past. Hunger as a weapon is used both against the civilian population and against humanitarian aid workers who are attacked or otherwise prevented from accessing people in need. The right to food and the unhindered delivery of relief supplies are among the basic internationally recognised and binding protective provisions of international law. In today’s armed conflicts, these internationally binding norms are increasingly and systematically violated and undermined.


Welthungerhilfe invites you to the following expert discussion:

Hunger and armed conflict: when hunger becomes a weapon of war

The discussion will focus on:

  • the current state of international and national efforts to outlaw starvation as a method of war
  • the current concrete need for action to strengthen and implement existing standards
  • the contribution of the German government and civil society to these efforts

CHA Research Fellow Andrea Steinke is going to participate as a panelist.

The Chatham House Rule apply.

The event will take place in German. 

Please register via the following link.

For further questions and information please contact Daphné Lucas and Anja Gebauer.


Germany is the second largest donor nation of humanitarian assistance worldwide. As the world’s second largest donor and a member of international bodies, such as the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council, as well as in light of its forthcoming EU Presidency, Germany has a crucial role to play in strengthening the fundamental norms of international law.

In the past year, there have been far-reaching developments at the international level which offer important contributions to the fight against starvation as a method of war. At the centre of these developments is the effective implementation of the groundbreaking UN Security Council Resolution 2417, UNSC S/RES/2417, unanimously adopted in May 2018. This resolution explicitly condemns starvation as a method of war and the deliberate blocking of access for humanitarian assistance, and declares it a war crime for which the perpetrators can be held accountable.

Additionally, the Assembly of States Parties to the International Criminal Court on 6 December 2019 amended the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in this respect: starvation can now also be prosecuted in internal armed conflicts. The Federal Government can use its prominent position to drive forward the political momentum for outlawing starvation as a method of war and join countries such as the Netherlands and Ireland in this endeavor.