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Kazakhstan: experts discuss weapons prohibited by international law

01-10-2012 News Release

On 2 and 3 October, 48 lawyers and other specialists from Eastern European and Central Asian countries, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States and other organizations will gather in Astana for a seminar on measures that could be taken to help prevent the use of weapons that cause unnecessary suffering.

The event will be held under the auspices of the Kazakh foreign ministry and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"Every day, people are injured by weapons prohibited by international humanitarian law," said Laurent Corbaz, the ICRC's head of operations for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. "It's important that we do everything we can to prevent the weapons from being used and to help the victims. Of course, the best thing would be for the law to be heeded."

The ICRC, which runs a physical rehabilitation programme for people with weapon-related injuries, actively supports the prohibition of the use of weapons causing unnecessary suffering.

"This two-day seminar aims to find ways of addressing problems for people and the environment arising from the use of prohibited weapons," said Maria Teresa Dutli, an ICRC regional legal adviser for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. "It will provide a forum for specialists and lawyers to share experiences and give an overview of the legal measures required in their countries to make sure that the laws are upheld."

Participants will be invited to work in groups on recommendations for destroying surplus weapons, controlling weapon transfers and enhancing sanctions. The recommendations that are adopted will serve as guidance for State authorities in their efforts to prevent casualties, respond to needs and impose sanctions.

The ICRC, which has been working in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia since the early 1990s, supports States in the region in their efforts to implement international humanitarian law and other bodies of law at the national level.

For further information, please contact:
Aygul Khalaileh, ICRC Tashkent: +7 771 374 31 19
Pierre-Emmanuel Ducruet, ICRC Moscow: +7 771 374 31 15