Regional course on International Humanitarian Law kicks off in Sharm El-Sheikh

Regional course on International Humanitarian Law kicks off in Sharm El-Sheikh

News release 15 March 2022 Egypt

Cairo (ICRC) – The International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Regional Arabic Course kicked off on Sunday in Sharm El-Sheikh after two years of suspension due to COVID-19 restrictions. This is the first time this renowned course is being hosted in Egypt.

The course, taking place from 13 to 20 March, is organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in cooperation with the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Egyptian National Committee on IHL (NCIHL).

The participants include government officials from 17 Arab States who are involved in the implementation of IHL at the national level, representing ministries of defense, interior, foreign affairs and justice. It also includes university professors in charge of incorporating IHL into universities' academic curricula as well as Muslim scholars active and interested in comparative studies on IHL and Islam.

The course aims to give participants the necessary basic knowledge about IHL and skills to effectively participate in the process of national implementation and teaching of IHL in their respective countries.

"This course aims to build the capacities of relevant stakeholders to enhance knowledge, awareness and respect of IHL in the region," said Jerome Fontana, Head of ICRC delegation in Cairo, during the opening session.

The opening session also saw keynote speeches delivered by Ambassador Mohamed Al-Amin Weld Akeek, Assistant Secretary-General of LAS and Head of the Legal Affairs Sector, and Judge Amal Ammar, Head of the Technical Committee of the Egyptian NCHIL and Assistant Minister of Justice for Human Rights, Women and Children.

"The aim of IHL is to ensure that humanitarian principles are observed during armed conflicts and protect people suffering from the horrors of conflict. It seeks to strike a balance between military necessities and humanitarian considerations," said Ammar.

The course provides in-depth knowledge and a comprehensive overview of IHL, including methods of warfare, protected persons and objects under IHL – including people deprived of their liberty and those who are missing – as well as the impact of climate change on humanitarian action.

The IHL Regional Arabic Course was first introduced in 2004 as a result of a resolution adopted by the LAS Council of Ministers of Justice reiterating the commitment of the Arab region to the implementation of IHL. The main goal of the resolution was to sensitize Arab government officials to IHL rules and principles.

The ICRC is an impartial, neutral, and independent organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of war and armed violence. It acts in response to emergencies and promotes respect for IHL and its implementation in national law. The ICRC is present in more than 90 countries around the world, including Egypt, where it has been working for over 100 years.

For further information, please contact:
Nesma Nowar, ICRC Cairo, tel: 0100 0708515, email: nnowar@icrc.org