Close to 50 experts from 16 countries are expected to attend the 14th Southeast and Northeast Asia Session on International Humanitarian Law being organized from today in Hanoi, Viet Nam. The participants will include government officials, experts from departments of law, political science, international relations, defence studies and human rights, academics from the field of international humanitarian law (IHL) and those who train diplomats as well as civil servants.
The five-day event is being organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in collaboration with the Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam.
The sessions will delve into various facets of IHL and related themes such as legal frameworks applicable in armed conflicts and other violence. Other topics include protection of people deprived of their liberty, development of new weapons and technologies in warfare, individual criminal responsibility, access and protection of medical services and maritime security operations and armed conflict at sea.
"Humanitarian law is often perceived as not being relevant or necessarily applicable in this region. So this event is an important opportunity for us to encourage the participation of these countries in the implementation, development and interpretation of IHL," said Gianni Volpin, head of the ICRC's mission for Viet Nam and Laos.
"The programme is also designed to build expertise in law and policy in humanitarian action and to facilitate the promotion and teaching of IHL. We believe the sessions will be a useful platform for government representatives and experts to contribute to regional exchanges on current issues of humanitarian law."
The facilitators and resource persons for the event include experts in IHL from south-east and north-east Asia, Europe and the ICRC's regional delegations and headquarters. Seminar presentations, round table discussions, case studies, role play and debate exercises as well as panel discussions will be on the agenda.
As the promoter and guardian of international humanitarian law, the ICRC encourages respect for and compliance of the law. The organization does so by spreading knowledge of IHL and humanitarian principles and by reminding all sides party to the conflict of their obligation to abide by the rules. The ICRC emphasizes upon IHL being added to the curricula of leading universities and foreign service academies to reach future decision-makers and opinion-leaders in the field of international law and humanitarian assistance.
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