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Russian Federation: experts discuss new weapons and legal developments

11-12-2009 News Release 09/248

Moscow (ICRC) – Around 70 experts will attend today's round table discussion on "New Types of Weapons and Development in International Humanitarian Law" organized jointly by the Russian Academy of Science's Institute of World Economy and International Relations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The participants represent Russian academic circles, the government and the diplomatic community.

Recent scientific and technological advances will lead to new types of weapons, which may provide weapon bearers with an unprecedented power to inflict severe injury on people in wartime. The round table will focus on how international humanitarian law, which prohibits certain weapons and regulates all means of warfare in armed conflict, can continue to protect civilians and prevent unnecessary suffering among combatants.

" We all face an important challenge in ensuring that the law maintains an adequate framework for both traditional and new types of weapons " said François Bellon, head of the ICRC's regional delegation for the Russian Federation, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. " It's also important that relevant humanitarian law treaties and norms are incorporated into national legislation and complied with. "


On the basis of its mandate derived from international humanitarian law, the ICRC closely monitors the potential impact of new weapons from a humanitarian viewpoint and promotes dialogue on this issue between scientists and government experts. It also supports efforts by States to fulfil their obligation to review whether new weapons or methods of warfare meet the requirements of international humanitarian law.

For further information, please contact:
  Yuriy Shafarenko, ICRC Moscow, tel. +7 495 626 54 26 or +7 903 545 35 34