As the war in Ukraine enters its second year and lengthy conflicts in Yemen and Syria simmer, civilians, civilian infrastructure and aid workers are increasingly targeted in violation of international humanitarian law. Far too often, these violations are met with little to no accountability. Impunity for conflict-related violence emboldens perpetrators to continue targeting civilians, often amounting to the large-scale, systematic violence characteristic of mass atrocities. The rise of unaccountable conflict is one of the primary drivers of humanitarian need and contributes to state failure, displacement and food insecurity.

On March 8, USIP hosted a conversation with David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), about his work to shed light on growing global trends toward impunity in conflict and the need to reassert protections for civilians and humanitarian aid in conflict, break the cycle of crisis, and strengthen systems of accountability in the international system. The conversation discussed the IRC’s 2023 Emergency Watchlist, which highlights the 20 countries most at risk of increasing humanitarian need this year and includes many of the conflicts where impunity continues to thrive.

Continue the conversation on Twitter with #AccountabilityInConflict.


Lise Grande, welcoming remarks
President and CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace

Ambassador David Scheffer
Professor of Practice, School of Politics and Global Studies, Arizona State University

David Miliband
President and CEO, International Rescue Committee

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