2007 Senior Workshop on International Rules governing Military Operations (SWIRMO)
Erwin Dahinden, International Relations, Swiss Armed Forces
Christophe Keckeis, Chief of the Swiss Armed Forces
Maj Gen Almeida
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The aim is to strengthen their understanding of the legal framework surrounding military operat ions, helping them to determine the law applicable in a given situation and to understand how best to integrate it into military training and procedures.
The workshop opens a new chapter in the ICRC’s efforts to help governments and armed forces fulfil their legal obligations to ensure that military personnel know and apply international humanitarian law (IHL), and other relevant treaties, in their operations. These efforts date back 30 years; in 2007 they involve 21 permanent staff, most of them former military or police officers.
Most of the training support given by the ICRC takes place in the field, within countries that have accepted it. The ICRC also gives financial support for officers to attend courses at the International Institute for Humanitarian Law in San Remo, Italy.
The Geneva workshop is one of the events planned by the ICRC in 2007 to mark the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the first two Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions – treaties which expanded the scope of the law to cover modern conflict situations more effectively. More than 160 States are party to the Protocols.
Switzerland, as the depositary State for the Geneva Conventions and their Protocols, is co-organizing the event, by making available a venue in Geneva and giving other logistical support. It will also participate in the training and stage a field exercise to illustrate practical aspects of integrating the law into military operations.