(From left to right) the Swiss Ambassador, the Minister of Justice, the Prime Minister, the Chair of the National International Humanitarian Law Committee, and the Head of the ICRC regional delegation. CC BY -NC-ND/ICRC/Narindra Rakotonanahary
A round table to present the Montreux Document to the Malagasy authorities was held on 18 June 2015 in the capital Antananarivo. This initiative was taken by the National International Humanitarian Law Committee and supported by the ICRC and the Swiss embassy for Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles.
The Montreux Document summarizes the international legal obligations applicable to private military and security companies operating in armed conflicts.
In his speech, Prime Minister General Ravelonarivo underlined his country's support for the Montreux Document. He also stressed that Madagascar set great store by respecting and ensuring respect for human rights and international humanitarian law.
"Even though there is no armed conflict in Madagascar, whether international or non-international, the fact that the country is adding its voice to that of other nations helps promote international humanitarian law," said ICRC regional delegate Christoph Vogt.
During the round table, ICRC legal adviser Romaric Ferraro shared his expertise about the Montreux Document. He clarified the Document's scope of application and spelled out the relevant legal obligations and good practices, thereby demonstrating that existing law did indeed apply to private military and security companies.
Madagascar is the 53th country to date to lend its support to the Montreux Document – support that will be formally recorded in a letter from the Government of Madagascar to the Government of Switzerland.