Nepal: Marking the 150th anniversary of the 1864 Geneva Conventions with the Review "ICRC: 150 years of humanitarian action"

ICRC Nepal delegation seized the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the 1864 Geneva Convention—12 August 2014—to launch and promote the Review "ICRC: 150 years of humanitarian action" as well as discuss contemporary challenges to IHL.

Honorable Minister for Law and Justice Narahari Acharya— ex officio Chair of the National IHL Committee of Nepal— launched the Review and addressed the gathering, highlighting the significance of IHL in the humanitarian landscape and appreciating the ICRC for its role as a guardian of IHL.

Delivering her welcome remarks during the event, Ms. Dragana Kojic, Head of Delegation, ICRC Nepal, dwelled briefly upon the history of humanitarian action and current humanitarian challenges which the Review "ICRC: 150 years of humanitarian action" reflects in detail through a series of articles.

The event, which was organized in coordination with the National IHL Committee of Nepal, brought together about forty senior officers representing different ministries of the Government of Nepal, security forces, civil society/academics, UN agencies, Nepal Red Cross Society and the IFRC.

His Excellency Swiss Ambassador to Nepal Dr. Urs Herren, Chairman of Nepal Red Cross Society Mr Sanjeev Thapa, Secretary of Ministry of Law, Justice, Constituent Assembly and Parliamentary Affairs Mr. Bhesh Raj Sharma, and Member Secretary of National IHL Committee of Nepal Mr Dilli Raj Ghimire also delivered their remarks during the event.

The event included an interaction session on 'Contemporary Challenges to IHL', presented by Mr. Charles Sabga, Regional Legal Adviser, ICRC New Delhi, in which questions concerning humanitarian situation in the current trouble spots, compliance of IHL, IHL and armed actors, transitional justice were discussed.  Besides this, Mr. Sabga also interacted with lawyers and alumni of South Asia Teaching Session on IHL in two separate sessions on the same theme.

For the purpose of this discussion, the session especially referred to three documents - IHL Challenge Report presented in the 31st International Red Cross Conference, Strengthening Compliance with International Humanitarian Law (A Joint Initiative of the Swiss Government and the ICRC), and Strengthening IHL Protecting Persons Deprived of Their Liberty in relation to Non-International Armed Conflict.