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Japan: Asian government officials gather at round table on Additional Protocols

02-11-2011 News Release 11/222

Geneva/Tokyo (ICRC) – A regional round table on "Enhancing the legal protection of persons affected by armed conflict: contemporary readings of the Additional Protocols in Asia," organized by the Japanese foreign ministry and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), will be held in Kyoto, Japan, on 3 and 4 November.

"The Protocols remain relevant to the region, as States can at any time become involved in, or affected by, a situation covered by these treaties – for example when providing troops for peace-keeping operations," said Yoshinobu Nagamine, the head of the ICRC office in Tokyo. "The aim of the round table is not to come up with concrete resolutions or pledges but simply to deepen the understanding of the issues at stake in light of the current legal and political context. This should enable States to make more informed decisions about adhering to the Additional Protocols."

"Japan, which recently adhered to the Additional Protocols, should share its experience in the process leading to accession, and in the implementation of the Protocols in its domestic legal system, with other States considering accession," said Hideaki Ueda, Japan's ambassador for human rights and humanitarian affairs.

Among the participants will be senior representatives of the foreign and defence ministries of Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam. Experts in the field of international humanitarian law will co-chair the various sessions.

The round table will consider the ways in which States in the region are construing rules of international humanitarian law and, in particular, their views on implementation of the 1977 Protocols additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. It will also provide a platform for States party to the Additional Protocols to exchange information.

As at 31 October 2011, 171 States were party to Additional Protocol I and 166 to Additional Protocol II. Several countries in East and South-East Asia are currently considering ratification of or accession to these instruments.

For further information, please contact:
Hitomi Makabe, ICRC Tokyo, tel: +81 80 41 42 97 23
Philippe Stoll, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 40 or +41 79 536 92 49