Kuwait (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross together with Ministry of Defense of Kuwait held a three-day meeting to discuss the Proportionality Principle in International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The first Middle East Annual Meeting of Experts on ‘The Proportionality Rule in International Humanitarian Law’ took place from 17 to 19 April. Senior military officers from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon participated in the meeting.
The meeting was opened jointly by Lt Gen Mohammad Khaled Kheder, Chief of Staff of the Kuwaiti military forces, and Yahia Alibi, the ICRC’s head of regional delegation in Kuwait.
In his opening remarks, Lt Gen Kheder stressed that civilians are directly affected by the consequences of armed conflict in the region, and that respect for international humanitarian law is key in order to ensure the protection and dignity of civilians.
"The meeting aims to be a platform for the exchange of ideas and the promotion of best practices by States to uphold adherence to the proportionality rule, a cornerstone of IHL," said Mr Alibi.
The organization of this meeting is timely as the region continues to witness armed conflicts, mainly in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The humanitarian consequences of these conflicts continue to have devastating effects on civilian populations, their homes, and the critical infrastructure that sustains them.
Under international humanitarian law, the principle of proportionality seeks to limit damage caused by military operations by requiring that the effects of the means and methods of warfare used must not be disproportionate to the military advantage sought. Parties to an armed conflict are legally obliged to take into account the reasonably foreseeable reverberating effects of an attack.
For further information, please contact: Salma Elshakre, ICRC Kuwait, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: +965 9667 3614