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Recent activities to promote national implementation of International Humanitarian Law in countries and organizations of the Americas

31-05-1998

Working document prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross for the information of OAS member States which are party to the 1949 Geneva Conventions



The working document contains a summary of activities relating to the national implementation of international humanitarian law in the countries of the Americas. The details given are not exhaustive and are based on information communicated to the ICRC


I. INTRODUCTION

The tasks of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) include the promotion of international humanitarian law (IHL) and its implementation at national level. To help achieve the common objective of ensuring respect for IHL, the ICRC takes steps with a view to securing universal acceptance of the humanitarian treaties, the adoption of national laws and regulations for the application of this body of law, and the establishment of committees or other national bodies for its implementation. This work has been reinforced since early 1996 by the creation of the Advisory Service on International Humanitarian Law, whose aim is to offer technical assistance to authorities which require such support in the process of bringing national legislation and regulations into line with international obligations.

To create the conditions necessary to ensure respect for IHL, the ICRC delegations in t he Americas, helped where necessary by experts from the Advisory Service on IHL, establish a dialogue with government authorities in order to draw their attention to this matter and give them any necessary advice. In addition to maintaining regular contacts and making the relevant documentation available, the ICRC organizes national and regional seminars, either on its own or in cooperation with other organizations and institutions of the region, in order to explain the issue of implementation of IHL at national level and to facilitate the exchange of information.

Some of the main activities conducted in this field are outlined below.

1. With regard to participation in the international instruments, the ICRC has continued to make approaches to States which are not yet party to Protocol I (international armed conflicts) and Protocol II (non-international armed conflicts) additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1980 United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons together with its annexed Protocols, particularly amended Protocol II and the new Protocol IV on Blinding Laser Weapons. It has further mobilized efforts to promote adhesion to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property and, over the last few months, the ratification of the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on their Destruction. Within the framework of these measures, States which have not yet done so are invited to accept the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission provided for in Article 90 of Additional Protocol I.

To underpin these efforts, close relations have been maintained with the region's National Red Cross Societies, which enjoy a favoured position vis-à-vis the governments and authorities of their respective countries.



2. Taking advantage of the process of legislative reform in a number of American countries - particularly in the field of criminal law - the ICRC has urged the adoption or adaptation of national laws and regulations for the implementation of international humanitarian law (IHL) in order to help States acquire a set of judicial and regulatory instruments consistent with the requirements of the humanitarian law treaties. It has offered technical assistance to ensure that sanctions for war crimes and other grave breaches of the humanitarian treaties are included in penal codes. Similarly, support has been provided for reform of the laws regulating and protecting the use of the red cross/red crescent emblem and other signs protected by IHL.

According to information available to the ICRC as at 31 May 1998:

- 14 American countries already have laws governing the use of the protective emblems and 4 countries are preparing draft laws to this end

- 6 countries are examining the possibility of adapting their current penal legislation and rules of civil and military penal procedure in order to incorporate sanctions for war crimes and other violations of IHL

3. With regard to mechanisms for national implementation of IHL in the countries of the Americas, the ICRC has continued to promote the establishment of national interministerial advisory commissions or committees for the implementation of IHL.
According to information available to the ICRC as at 31 May 1998:

- 10 American countries already have Interministerial Committees/ Commissions for Implementation for IHL and 2 countries are in the process of establishing similar bodies

4. To advise the authorities more effectively with regard to the national implementation of IHL and to exchange ideas on matters of interest in this connection, the ICRC organized two meetings of experts in Geneva: the Meeting of experts on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of IHL (October 1996) and the Meeting of experts on the national repression of violations of IHL (September 1997).

Experts and government representatives from various American States took part in these meetings.



II. ACTIVITIES IN COUNTRIES OF THE AMERICA


ARGENTINA

1. ICRC activities

- September 1993. The ICRC, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organized a seminar on the implementation of IHL for civil service and military personnel from six countries in the region.

- April 1998. A seminar on the implementation of IHL was organized jointly with the Argentine Council for External Relations and attended by Argentine legislators and legal advisers.

2. National structures for implementation of IHL

- The Interministerial Committee for the Implementation of IHL (CADIH) was set up as a technical committee by Executive Decree No. 933/94. It is composed of representatives of the Ministries of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Justice and the Interior. The chairmanship rotates among the participating ministries and the secretariat is based at the Ministry of Defence. Meetings are held once a month. The ICRC and the Argentine Red Cross are invited to attend meetings as observers.

- June 1995. A representative of the CADIH took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

- 1995. A seminar on IHL was organized at the School of National Defence, with the support of the CADIH.

- 1996. The CADIH drew up proposals for teaching programmes to be included in secondary school and university curricula and submitted them to the Ministry of Education and to a number of law faculties for consideration. Similar proposals were presented to army, navy and air force academies.

- October 1996. The Foreign Ministry representative on the Committee took part in the Meeting of experts on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of IHL, held in Geneva.

- April 1997. A legal adviser from the Advisory Service on IHL and the ICRC regional delegate attended a CADIH meeting, at which the role of the Advisory Service and the work of the Committee were explained.

- April 1997. The national committees for the implementation of IHL in Argentina and Chile held a first bilateral meeting in Buenos Aires, which provided an opportunity for an exchange of experiences with regard to the accomplishment of the tasks assigned to them and enabled the two bodies to arrange for the flow of periodic information on the progress of projects undertaken by them.

- April 1998. A legal adviser of the ICRC Advisory Service on IHL and the deputy head of the ICRC regional delegation took part in a meeting of the CADIH.

3. Legislative and administrative measures

- 1995. Draft legislation on the protection of use of the emblem was prepared by the CADIH and submitted to Parliament, although the bill has not yet been debated by Congress because of its heavy agenda. The Committee intends to relaunch the matter with a view to having the law passed in the course of 1998.

- 1995. Argentina acceded to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.

- 1996. The CADIH monitored the progress through Parliament of legislation to recognize the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission provided for in Article 90 of Additional Protocol I of 1977.

- Within the framework of the current revision of the Penal Code, and in view of the complexity of the process in relation to IHL, a special law is needed to provide for penal sanctions for violations of IHL, to be annexed to the Penal Code once it has been passed by Congress. To this end, the CADIH is preparing draft legislation to be submitted to the relevant authorities in due course.

- CADIH worked in cooperation with the Judge Advocate General of the armed forces on the incorporation of penal sanctions for war crimes in the draft revision of the Military Code of Justice. The draft was submitted to Congress in April 1998.

- September 1997. The Judge Advocate General and the deputy representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took part in the Meeting of experts on the national repression of violations of IHL, held in Geneva.


BELIZE

- June 1995: A government official took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.


BOLIVIA

1. ICRC activities

- September 1993. High-level civilian and military representatives of the government of Bolivia took part in the Regional seminar on the national implementation of IHL, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

- June 1994. The ICRC had talks in La Paz with the Minister of Justice, who expressed his interest in the implementation of IHL and considered that his Ministry could assume the responsibilities incumbent on it with regard to the Committee on IHL set up by the previous government.

- 28-30 June 1995. The Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, organized jointly by the ICRC, the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights and the Ibero-American Training Centre, with financial support provided by the Spanish government, was held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. The Vice-President of the Republic, the then Director of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, experts from the Spanish Red Cross and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and senior ICRC officials took part in the seminar, which was attended by representatives of 20 Latin-American countries. The proceedings of the seminar were published as the Memoria del Seminario in San José, Costa Rica, in 1996, with the support of the Swiss government.

- The ICRC organized a number of seminars and talks on IHL and national implementation for members of the La Paz Bar Association (La Paz, September 1996), for high-ranking army Staff Officers (La Paz, March 1997), for senior civil servants (Cochabamba, June 1997), at the Diplomatic Academy (La Paz, November 1997), and for senior navy and army officers (La Paz, November 1997).

2. National structures for implementation of IHL

- The Permanent National Committee for the Implementation of IHL was set up by Executive Decree No. 23345 of 2 December 1992 during the presidency of Mr Jaime Paz Zamora. It comprised representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, National Defence, the Interior, Migration, Justice and Social Defence, Education and Culture, Health and Social Welfare, the Supreme Court, the Faculty of Law of the University of San Andrés, and the Bolivian Red Cross.

- August 1994. The ICRC had talks with the Under-Secretary and the Director for Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice, and with the Director of the International Organizations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and his advisers, with a view to reactivating the Committee set up by the previous government.

- January 1996. The ICRC had further talks with the Vice-President of Bolivia and, in August 1996, with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and other Foreign Ministry officials, and with representatives of the Ministry of Justice.

- September 1996. At a meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Director of the International Organizations Department informed the ICRC that a new decree was shortly to be signed by the President to establish the Committee. However, a number of factors (including the period of political activity culminating in the election in 1997 of President Banzer) prevented the adoption of the decree.

- November 1997. The ICRC regional delegate visited La Paz in order to establish contact with the new authorities. The importance of implementation of IHL at the national level and the delay in adopting the decree to set up the Committee were the main topics of discussion at meetings with the new Deputy Ministers of Justice and Human Rights, and with senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who expressed their interest in these issues and pledged to provide, in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, the necessary follow-up to ensure establishment of the Committee.

- April 1988. During talks with ICRC representatives the Deputy Minister of Justice handed them a draft decree aimed at reactivating the previously established Committee and modifying its composition.


BRAZIL

1. ICRC activities

- June 1993. The ICRC had talks with a legal adviser from the Ministry of Justice to study and promote the measures that needed to be adopted by Brazil to give effect on the internal level to the country's accession to the Additional Protocols of 1977.

- September 1993. High-level civilian and military representatives of the government of Brazil took part in the Regional seminar on the national implementation of IHL, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

- 1993. Discussions were held with the Superior Military Court with a view to preparing proposals for the incorporation of penal sanctions for grave breaches of IHL in the Military Penal Code.

- May 1994, 1995 and 1996. The ICRC held further talks with the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs to discuss the issue of national implementation and the dissemination of IHL and the possibility of setting up a national committee on IHL.

- June 1995. A government representative took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

2. National structures for implementation of IHL 

October 1996. Diplomatic representatives of Brazil took part in the Meeting of experts on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of IHL, held in Geneva.

3. Legislative and administrative measures

- June 1993. Decree No. 849 of 25 June 1993 was passed to promulgate Protocols I and II additional to the Geneva Conventions, including acceptance of the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission (Article 90, Protocol I). The instruments were published in the official gazette.

- 1995. The 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons was promulgated.


CANADA

1. National structures for implementation of IHL

- October 1996. Representatives of the Canadian Permanent Mission took part in the Meeting of experts on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of IHL, organized by the ICRC in Geneva.

- March 1998. Discussions were under way on the establishment of a Canadian National Committee on International Humanitarian Law, in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding between the Departments of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, National Defence and Justice, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian International Development Agency and the Canadian Red Cross Society. Representatives of these departments and bodies were to be the core members of the Committee; other members may be designated on an ad hoc basis for particular projects. The Committee's main functions will be to the facilitate implementation of IHL and to offer advice on dissemination. It is anticipated that the Committee will meet two or three times a year, and special meetings may be convened as needed. The Canadian Red Cross will provide secretariat services. The first meeting was scheduled for March 1998.

2. Legislative and administrative measures

- Canada ratified the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in 1994 and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention in 1995. It ratified the Ottawa treaty banning anti-personnel landmines in 1997, and adopted implementing legislation the same year (Bill C-22, passed by the House of Commons on 24 November 1997).

- April 1998. The Canadian National Committee on International Humanitarian Law was formally established on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding of 18 March signed by the Departments represented on the Committee.


CHILE

1. ICRC activities

- September 1993. High-level civilian and military representatives of the government of Chile took part in the Regional seminar on the national implementation of IHL, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

- June 1994. The ICRC met the Director for Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss the implementation of IHL and progress made in this area.

- January 1995. The ICRC had talks with officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice to outline the key aspects of the implementation of IHL that could be addressed by the National Committee, such as the repression of grave breaches.

2. National structures for implementation of IHL

- The National Committee for the Implementation of IHL was set up by Executive Decree No. 654 of 1994 to study measures aimed at the effective national implementation of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols and to submit such measures for consideration by the relevant authorities. The Committee is composed of representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the Interior, Defence, Education, Justice and Health. It is chaired by the Director of Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the secretariat is based. Meetings are held monthly, and an annual report is submitted to the President of the Republic, detailing the activities carried out over the year and plans for the future.

- June 1995. A representative of the Committee took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

- August 1996. The ICRC regional delegate, accompanied by the President of the Chilean Red Cross, attended a meeting of the Committee held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assess progress in the different matters dealt with by Committee, in particular the teaching of IHL.

- October 1996. The Foreign Ministry representative on the Committee took part in the Meeting of experts on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of IHL, held in Geneva.

- August 1997. The ICRC took part in the 18th meeting of the Committee, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Santiago, with a presentation on why the repression of grave breaches of IHL was such an important issue and how the Committee's work could contribute to achieving this aim.

- September 1997. The Foreign Ministry deputy representative on the Committee took part in the Meeting of experts on the national repression of violations of IHL, held in Geneva.

- Committee members took part in the following IHL dissemination activities organized by the ICRC: Seminar on IHL: problems of national and international implementation, held by the ICRC and the Institute for International Studies of the University of Chile (August 1993); seminar at the Diplomatic Academy (September 1995); seminar for legal advisers on Obligations under IHL: punishment of violations, held at the National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies (ANEPE) (November 1995); conference at the Diplomatic Academy on Control and repression of grave breaches of IHL (May 1996); seminar on IHL held at the Naval War Academy in Valparaíso (June 1996); seminar on IHL organized by the ICRC and the Army War Academy of Chile (June 1997).

- October 1997. The ICRC provided the Committee with documentation on the teaching of IHL in schools, including several manuals produced in different countries around the world.

- April 1998. The deputy head of the ICRC regional delegation and a legal adviser from the Advisory Service on IHL took part in a meeting of the Committee.

3. Legislative and administrative measures

- March 1995. The regional delegate, accompanied by the President of the Chilean Red Cross, had talks with the members of the Commission on Human Rights of the Chamber of Deputies in Valparaíso. The chairman of the Commission asked the regional delegation for its opinion on a bill on the protection of the emblem.

- August 1997. At a meeting of the Committee, the ICRC was informed of the completion of the parliamentary process to revise the law on the emblem.

- September 1997. The National Congress passed Law No. 19.911 on the protection of the red cross emblem.


COLOMBIA

1. ICRC activities

- Since 1993 the ICRC delegation has endeavoured to ensure that the implem entation of IHL remains a topical issue through dissemination activities, including the organization of conferences, seminars and workshops in Colombia for both civilian and military circles.

- June 1995. A representative of Colombia took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

- 1995 and 1996. The ICRC held periodic talks with senior government officials to promote Colombia's accession to Additional Protocol II of 1977, to discuss issues relating to the national implementation of IHL and to encourage the formation of a national committee on IHL in Colombia.

- 1997. The ICRC was invited to take part in the proceedings of the External Advisory Committee of the National Congress, its first task being to assist in preparing the final draft of the bill on forcible displacements. Subsequent work involved drawing up the necessary administrative decrees.

- October 1997. The ICRC organized a workshop on the repression of violations of IHL.

2. National structures for implementation of IHL

- The government of Colombia set up a Technical Governmental Group on IHL, comprising technical representatives from various ministries, the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Human Rights. It was assigned the task of drawing up a plan of work for the implementation of IHL in Colombia.

- The Governmental Committee for the Humanization of the Internal Armed Conflict and the Implementation of IHL in Colombia was set up by Presidential Decree No. 1863/96 as a government advisory body. It is composed of the Director of the Presidential Programme for the Defence of Individual Freedom, who chairs the proceedings, the High Commissioner for Peace, the Presidential Advisers on Security and on Human Rights and representatives of the Ministries of the Interior, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Health, and National Defence. The Permanent Technical Secretary of the Presidential Programme for the Defence of Individual Freedom provides secretariat services.

- 1996. At the request of the authorities, academic research into national measures for the implementation of IHL was conducted by the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University of Bogotá and the Colombian Red Cross.

- October 1996. A government delegation, comprising representatives of the Committee, took part in the Meeting of experts on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of IHL, held in Geneva, at which the document entitled Activities undertaken by the government of Colombia for the implementation of IHL was presented.

- Through its periodic contacts with the Committee, the ICRC provided technical advice on various questions relating to the national implementation of IHL.

3. Legislative and administrative measures

- December 1994-February 1996. Law No. 171/94, whereby the Colombian government acceded to Protocol II of 1977 additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, was published in Official Journal No. 41.640 and approved by public act. Following its adaptation to the Colombian Political Constitution by decision C 225 of 18 May 1995 handed down by the Constitutional Court, and the deposit of the instrument of accession, the instrument came into force on 15 February 1996.

- July 1995. Ministry of National Defence directive No. 24 of 5 July 1995 provided for the restructuring and strengthening of the human rights and IHL offices in military and police forces and for the development of plans and programmes for training and instruction in these areas.

- 1997. Law No. 387 of 1997 was adopted, providing for measures to prevent forcible displacements and to offer assistance, protection and socio-economic stability for people displaced internally as a result of the violence in the Republic of Colombia. Implementing legislation is currently being prepared.

- The ICRC provided technical assistance for the drafting of the section on "Offences against IHL" which was incorporated in the draft Military Penal Code currently being prepared.

- 1996. Work began on the preparation of a bill to incorporate penal sanctions for violations of IHL in ordinary criminal law, with the help of ICRC legal advisers who provided technical assistance.

- September 1997. An expert in criminal law, who is an external consultant for the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice, took part in the Meeting of experts on the national repression of violations of IHL, held in Geneva.

- 1997. The Colombian Red Cross, with technical advice from the ICRC, prepared draft legislation to regulate and protect the use of the red cross emblem.

- May 1998. The President of the Republic promulgated Decree No. 860 of 8 May regulating and protecting the use of the red cross name and emblem, protecting Red Cross activities and facilitating the rendering of humanitarian services in Columbia.

COMMON-LAW STATES OF THE CARIBBEAN (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago)

1. ICRC activities

- June 1995. A senior government official from Belize took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

- 1996, 1997 and 1998. The ICRC continued to make representations to government representatives to promote adherence to 1977 Additional Protocols I and II and the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons by countries not yet party to those treaties.

2. National structures for implementation of IHL

- October 1996. A member of the Saint Kitts and Nevis Red Cross Society, representing the Red Cross Societies of the Caribbean States, took part in the Meeting on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of IHL, organized by the ICRC in Geneva.

- Recent ICRC contacts with representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago indicate that both countries are considering setting up interministerial committees for the implementation of IHL


COSTA RICA

1. ICRC activities

- June 1995. A government representative took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

- 1995, 1996 and 1997. Various missions were carried out to raise the awareness of the country's highest authorities of the importance of adopting measures for the national implementation of IHL and of setting up a national committee to deal with this issue. On a number of occasions the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Ministers of Public Security and Justice expressed their desire and determination to fulfil their humanitarian commitments, with the support of the ICRC.

- November 1997. The ICRC had talks with the Ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs, which resulted in general agreement on the need to set up a national interinstitutional committee on IHL. The Minister of Justice was in favour of improving the law governing protection of the emblem. He relayed the wish of the Ombudsman to take part in this task and asked the ICRC to provide technical assistance.

- February 1998. The first Regional seminar on national measures for the implementation of IHL, held in Panama, was attended by a representative of the Ministry of Justice, who subsequently urged her Minister to follow up on the recommendations endorsed by the seminar without delay, particularly with regard to the creation of a national committee on IHL.

2. Legislative and administrative measures

- September 1997. A law was passed to regulate and protect the use of the emblem. However, owing to an error in its passage through the National Congress, it presents serious shortcomings. Means of amending the law are now being examined.

- The ICRC, in coordination with the Ministry of Justice, is studying the possibility of including penal sanctions for grave breaches of IHL in the Penal Code, which is currently being revised.


CUBA

1. ICRC activities

- June 1995. A government representative took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

- 1995, 1996 and 1997. The ICRC had periodic talks with representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice to raise awareness of the importance of adopting national measures for the implementation of IHL.

- December 1997. An ICRC legal adviser met with the National Union of Jurists of Cuba to organize a seminar on aspects of the implementation of IHL, to assist the Cuban Red Cross legal adviser with a study on customary law, and to promote the adoption of measures for the implementation of IHL.

- February 1998. The Cuban Red Cross legal adviser took part in the first Regional seminar on national measures for the implementation of IHL, held in Panama.

- March 1998. An international seminar/workshop on IHL and its implementation was organized on the initiative of the National Union of Jurists of Cuba and the Cuban Red Cross, with support from the ICRC.

2. National structures for implementation of IHL

- October 1996. Diplomatic representatives of Cuba and the Cuban Red Cross legal adviser took part in the Meeting of experts on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of IHL, held in Geneva.

3. Legislative and administrative measures

The ICRC provided technical assistance during the preparation of draft legislation for the regulation and protection of the use of the red cross emblem.


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

1. ICRC activities

- June 1995. A government representative took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

- Since 1995 there have been a number of ICRC missions to hold talks with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with a view to promoting the adoption of national measures to implement IHL and the setting up of a specific national body to facilitate this task.

- February 1998. A government representative took part in the first Regional seminar on national measures for the implementation of IHL, held in Panama.

2. National structures for implementation of IHL

- November 1995. The National Interministerial Committee on IHL was set up, with the support of the ICRC. Following the change of government in 1996, the work of the Committee was not continued, and no executive decree was drawn up. The Committee last met in March 1996.

- Since September 1996 a number of ICRC missions have been carried out to draw the attention of the new authorities to the need to brief and provide training for the future members of a new Committee.

- October 1997. An ICRC legal adviser went to the Dominican Republic for discussions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aimed at having the Committee reactivated and put on a formal footing.

- December 1997. The Minister of Foreign Affairs formally assigned two diplomats the task of officially reestablishing the Committee.

3. Legislative and administrative measures

- 1994. The Dominican Republic acceded to Additional Protocols I and II of 1977.

- 1997. The National Red Cross Society, with technical assistance from the ICRC, prepared draft legislation on the protection of the emblem, which is currently awaitin g consideration by the legislative assembly.


ECUADOR

1. ICRC activities

- Since 1993 the ICRC regional delegate has conducted several missions to Ecuador. Talks were held with senior government officials in order to promote Ecuador's adherence to the Protocols annexed to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and to promote the formation of a national committee for the implementation of IHL.

- June 1995. A representative of Ecuador took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

- June 1997. The ICRC met the Under-Secretary for International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant authorities to discuss the national implementation of IHL and the incorporation of IHL in official training programmes for the armed forces and the police.

- December 1997. The ICRC had further talks with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during the course of which the ICRC was informed that Ecuador had signed amended Protocol II and Protocol IV annexed to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, and that the government was considering the possibility of accepting the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission (Article 90, Additional Protocol I of 1977) and of setting up a national committee for the implementation of IHL.

2. National structures for implementation of IHL

- June 1997. The ICRC held talks with senior government officials, who expressed their interest in setting up a national committee for the implementation of IHL and welcomed the proposal to organize a national seminar on the subject for the government ministries concerned.

- April 1998. During a visit to Quito, the ICRC regional delegate was informed of the authorities' intention to include IHL among the terms of reference of the Interministerial Commission on Human Rights which was about to be set up.


EL SALVADOR

1. ICRC activities

- June 1995. A government representative took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

- February 1998. Two members of the Committee, representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice, took part in the first Regional seminar on national measures for the implementation of IHL, held in Panama.

2. National structures for implementation of IHL

- October 1996. Diplomatic representatives of El Salvador took part in the Me eting of experts on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of IHL, held in Geneva.

- 1997. ICRC legal advisers held a number of working meetings and training sessions with members of the nascent Committee to deal with specific aspects of national implementation of IHL.

- November 1997. The Interinstitutional Committee on IHL was officially set up by an Executive Decree signed by the President of the Republic and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and published in the official gazette. The Committee comprises representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the Interior, Public Security, Education, Defence, and Health and Social Welfare, the office of the Attorney for the Defence of Human Rights and the Salvadorean Red Cross Society. It is chaired by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the Director of the Social Unit of the Foreign Ministry is responsible for the permanent secretariat.

- The Committee has appointed three sub-committees and has held eight working sessions to date. It has asked the ICRC to provide technical advice for the activities it plans to undertake.

- January 1998. The ICRC was invited to attend two of the Committee's working sessions: a sub-committee meeting to consider two draft laws, one on the protection of the red cross emblem and the other on sanctions for violations of IHL; and a plenary session.

- March 1998. The ICRC took part in a working session of the Committee, during which the draft law on the protection of the red cross emblem and the forthcoming legislative reforms, including revision of the Penal Code, were discussed.

3. Legislative and administrative measures

- One of the sub-committees prepared a draft revision of the Decree-Law of 1994 on the protection of the red cross emblem and submitted it for consideration by the Cabinet.

- Taking advantage of the revision of the Penal Codes then under way, one of the sub-committees prepared draft legislation on sanctions for violations of IHL, which will be included in the revised Penal Code and Military Code of Justice.

GUATEMALA

1. ICRC activities

- June 1995. A government representative took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

- 1996 and 1997. The ICRC maintained periodic contacts and met on various occasions with high-level representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Defence and with members of the National Congress to promote Guatemala's adherence to the humanitarian treaties and to advance the national implementation of IHL.

- January 1998. The ICRC had talks with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs liaison officer in Geneva. A visit was arranged to the documentation centre of the ICRC Advisory Service on IHL.

- February 1998. A representative of the Ministry of Defence took part in the first Regional seminar on national measures for the implementation of IHL, held in Panama.

2. National structures for implementation of IHL

- In recent months both the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have expressed their desire to set up a national committee to study and draft legislative and administrative texts to implement IHL. Two senior liaison officers were appointed to provide the necessary follow-up. It was announced that the Ministry of Defence would convene a working meeting for representatives of the ministries and institutions concerned, with a view to setting up a national committee on IHL.

3. Legislative and administrative measures

- 1996. As part of the revision of the Penal Code, the national Bar Association, with technical support from the ICRC, drew up a section on penal sanctions for grave breaches of IHL. The ICRC was invited to introduce the bill to the Congress of the Republic and to present the arguments in its favour before the Speaker and the Commission for Constitutional Affairs.

- 1997. The ICRC was invited to form part of the group headed by the United Nations Human Rights Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA) which was assigned the task of revising the Penal Code. The revision is currently awaiting consideration by the legislative assembly.

- October 1997. On the initiative of the legislature, a law regulating and protecting the use of the red cross emblem was drafted, with extensive technical assistance from the ICRC, and passed by the Congress of the Republic.

- December 1997. Also on parliamentary initiative and with the technical support of the ICRC, Decree-Law No. 106-97 was passed on the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and on their destruction.


GUYANA

1. ICRC activities

- The ICRC regional delegation seeks to ensure that the implementation of IHL remains a topical issue through dissemination activities, including the organization of conferences and seminars in Guyana for both civilian and military circles.

- The ICRC approached high-level government representatives on various occasions to promote Guyana's adherence to those humanitarian treaties to which it is not yet a party.


HONDURAS

1. ICRC activities

- June 1995. A government representative took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

- 1996 and 1997. The ICRC carried out numerous missions to draw the attention of the government then in power to the need to establish a national committee and to adopt the national measures required to implement IHL.

- Late 1997. An ICRC legal adviser visited Honduras and met representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Deputy Minister of Justice, who expressed their interest in the promotion of a national committee on IHL.

- January 1998. Within the framework of the first periodic meeting on IHL convened by the Swiss government in Geneva, a visit was made by a representative of the Permanent Mission of Honduras to the Advisory Service on IHL at ICRC headquarters.

- February 1998. A representative of the Ministry of Defence took part in the first Regional seminar on national measures for the implementation of IHL, held in Panama.


MEXICO

1. ICRC activities

- June 1995. A government representative took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

2. National structures for implementation of IHL

- October 1996. A counsellor from the Permanent Mission of Mexico took part in the Meeting of experts on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of IHL, held in Geneva.


NICARAGUA

1. ICRC activities

- June 1995. A government representative took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

- October 1997. The ICRC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs jointly organized a national seminar on IHL, which was attended by representatives of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, representatives of the armed forces and academics. The recommendations endorsed by the seminar highlighted the importance of ratifying the 1977 Additional Protocols and the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, of accepting the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission, and of setting up a national committee for the implementation of IHL.

- February 1998. Representatives of the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs took part in the first Regional seminar on national measures for the implementation of IHL, held in Panama.


PANAMA

1. ICRC activities

- June 1995. A government representative took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

- September 1996. The ICRC, in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the nascent Interinstitutional Committee on IHL, organized a national seminar on the implementation of IHL in Panama.

- 1996 and 1997. ICRC representatives made a number of visits to Panama for talks with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior and Justice in order to promote Panama's adhesion to the humanitarian treaties, national implementation of IHL, and the appointment of a specific body for dealing with matters relating thereto.

- February 1998. The ICRC, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organized the first annual Regional seminar on national measures for the implementation of IHL, which was attended by civilian and military representatives (two from each country) of eight Central American and Caribbean States. The seminar's participants drew up recommendations and conclusions for submission to their respective governments.

2. National structures for implementation of IHL

- October 1996. A member of the Red Cross Society of Panama, representing the National Red Cross Societies of Central America, took part in the Meeting of experts on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of IHL, held in Geneva.

- 1996 and 1997. The members of the nascent Committee held informal working meetings, which were attended by ICRC legal advisers.

- February 1998. The Permanent Interinstitutional Committee on IHL was set up, with technical assistance from the ICRC. It is composed of representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the Interior and Justice, Health, Education and Defence and representatives of the Presidential Commission for Public Defence and the Civil Defence service. The rules of procedure and a plan of work are currently being prepared.

- February 1998. The committee held its first formal meeting, which was attended by ICRC legal advisers.

3. Legislative and administrative measures

- 1995. Panama ratified Additional Protocols I and II of 1977.


PARAGUAY

1. ICRC activities

- September 1993. Civilian and military representatives of the government of Paraguay took part in the Regional seminar on the national implementation of IHL, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

- March 1995. The ICRC met various officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the newly appointed Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, who expressed particular interest in the implementation of IHL and the role an interministerial committee could play in this area.

- July 1996. The ICRC had talks with the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, during which matters of concern to the ICRC were addressed, including the 1980 Convention, Article 90 of Additional Protocol I and the implementation of IHL. The Deputy Minister was particularly interested in the appointment of a committee on IHL and said that he would promote the matter personally.

- November 1996. The ICRC had talks with the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Directors of Foreign Policy, Treaties and International Organizations.

- July 1997. The ICRC met the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs to follow up on matters relating to the national implementation of IHL.

2. National structures for implementation of IHL

- The Interministerial Committee responsible for studying, analysing and proposing measures for the implementation of IHL was set up by Presidential Decree No. 8802 of 12 May 1995. It comprises one representative from each of the following ministries: Defence, the Interior, Foreign Affairs, Justice and Labour, Education and Worship, and Health and Social Welfare. The permanent secretariat is based at the Ministry of Defence. The Committee's activities include drawing up an inventory of health facilities and services throughout the country and the preparation of draft legislation. It is also planning to take steps leading to a declaration accepting the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission provided for in Article 90 of Additional Protocol I of 1977.

- June 1995. A representative of the Committee took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

- October 1995. The ICRC regional delegate met with the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs to discuss the Committee's work.

- 1995. The Secretary of the Committee took part in a course at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, San Remo, Italy.

- March 1996. The ICRC had talks with the Secretary of the Committee at the Ministry of Defence.

- April 1996. The ICRC took part in the Committee's first meeting, which was held at the Ministry of Defence.

- October 1996. The ICRC met the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs to discuss the Committee's work and had talks with the Defence Ministry representative on the Committee.

- November 1997. The ICRC took part in one of the Committee's meetings, which was also attended by four of its members (Foreign Affairs, Defence, Education and Health).

- The ICRC regional delegation suggested that members of the Committee be invited to give talks at the seminars on IHL organized by the ICRC and the Catholic University of Asunción (1995, 1996 and 1997)

- January 1998. Paraguay declared its acceptance of the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission (Article 90, Additional Protocol I).

3. Legislative and administrative measures

- A new Penal Code was adopted on 21 August 1997 and promulgated in November. Section IX, entitled "Offences against international law", includes provisions dealing with genocide and war crimes.

- Law No. 1115/97 was passed, establishing new Regulations for Military Personnel. Article 20 provides that "armed forces personnel are not bound to obey any order that threatens the constitutional, democratic and representative system or the legally constituted authorities, or any order that violates fundamental human rights". The delegation suggested that the Committee should draft a proposal for the express inclusion of IHL in the administrative decree relating to these regulations.


PERU

1. ICRC activities

- June 1995. A representative of Peru took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

2. Legislative and administrative measures

- July 1997. Peru acceded to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and amended Protocol II and Protocol IV thereto.

- February 1998. Various articles of the Penal Code were amended by Law No. 26926, and a new Section XIV-A, entitled "Crimes against humanity", was incorporated to cover genocide, forcible disappearance and torture.


SURINAME

1. ICRC activities

- The ICRC regional delegation seeks to ensure that the implementation of IHL remains a topical issue through dissemination activities, particularly the inclusion of the subject in the conferences and seminars it holds in Suriname and Guyana for both civilian and military circles.

- The ICRC has approached high-level government representatives on various occasions to promote Suriname's adherence to those humanitarian treaties to which it is not yet a party.


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

1. ICRC activities

- 1996 and 1997. The ICRC, together with a legal adviser from the American Red Cross, offered the US Congress advice on proposed legislation providing for the punishment of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other war crimes.

- Promotion of universal adherence to the IHL treaties and their national implementation regularly appears on the agenda of the annual seminar organized jointly by the I CRC, the American University and the American Red Cross for diplomats accredited to the OAS.

2. National structures for implementation of IHL

- October 1996. Representatives of the US Permanent Mission took part in the Meeting of experts on committees or other national bodies for the national implementation of IHL, organized by the ICRC in Geneva.

3. Legislative and administrative measures

- 1996. A US District Court upheld the right of American courts to hear a civil action brought against Mr Radovan Karadzic for violations of IHL, rejecting the argument of the defence which had claimed that the case should be dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

- 1996. The US passed the War Crimes Act 1996, which provides for punishment of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions (or any Protocol to which the USA becomes a party) committed by or against members of the US armed forces or US nationals. The Act was amended in 1997 to extend the range of offences covered to include, in addition to grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions:

(i) acts prohibited by Articles 23, 25, 27 and 29 of Hague Convention IV;
(ii) violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions (or Additional Protocol II in the event that the USA becomes a party);
(iii) wilfully killing or causing serious injury to civilians in violation of amended Protocol II (Mines Protocol) to the 1980 Conventional Weapons Convention.

- The US Department of State has suggested broadening the scope of the Act to provide for punishment of these offences regardless of the nationality of the accused and the place where the crime was committed.

- The US ratified the 1980 Conventional Weapons Convention in 1995 and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997.


URUGUAY

1. ICRC activities

- September 1993. High-level civilian and military representatives of the government of Uruguay took part in the Regional seminar on the national implementation of IHL, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

2. National structures for implementation of IHL

- The National Committee for the Implementation of IHL, set up on a provisional basis by Decree No. 677/992 of 12 May 1992, was replaced by a permanent body on 24 March 1994. It initially comprised delegates and deputies from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the Interior, National Defence and Education and Culture, and representatives of the Supreme Court of Justice, the Faculty of Law of the University of the Republic and the Uruguayan Red Cross. The Faculty of Law of the Catholic University was also represented on the Committee at a later date. The chairmanship is held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

- June 1995. A representative of the Committee took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

- October 1996. Diplomatic representatives of Uruguay took part in the Meeting of experts on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of IHL, organized by the ICRC in Geneva.

- 1996-1997. Administrative difficulties prevented the Committee from functioning during this period. The ICRC kept a constant check on the situation, holding numerous meetings with officials of the International Organizations Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at which it repeatedly stressed the importance of the national implementation of IHL and the role of the Committee in this respect.

- November 1996. A meeting was held with the then Director of International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who personally pledged to find a solution to the problem.

- April 1997. The ICRC, with the consent of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held an informal meeting with some of the Committee members. A number of those who attended the meeting took the decision to approach the Ministry with a view to having a chairman appointed. This was achieved some months later, and the Committee's work resumed.

- 1997. The Committee studied secondary education teaching programmes, with a view to submitting proposals to the Ministry of Education on the updating of topics relating to the Red Cross and the inclusion of a minimum IHL content in school curricula. To this end, the Committee asked the ICRC for relevant materials, which were supplied with the support of the ICRC Advisory Service on IHL, including several manuals produced in different countries around the world.

- April 1998. A member of the Committee took part in the seminar on implementation of IHL held in Buenos Aires for Argentine legislators.

- April 1998. The ICRC regional delegate and a legal adviser from the Advisory Service attended a meeting of the Committee.

3. Legislative and administrative measures

- Executive Decree 679/992 was adopted to establish regulations on the use of the red cross/red crescent emblem, modifying Law No. 6.186 of 16 July 1918. In particular, it increased the fines imposed for misuse of the emblem and specified that any amounts collected in the form of such fines should go to the Uruguayan Red Cross.

- Executive Decree of 1 March 1993 stated that "courses on international humanitarian law shall be organized, in coordination with the National Committee for the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law, for staff of the Ministry of National Defence in the framework of the Military Institute for Higher Studies - Advanced National Study Courses - and for staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the framework of the Artigas Institute for Foreign Relations - School of Diplomacy".

- 1997. The Committee began considering the issue of grave breaches of IHL with a view to determining the amendments required to incorporate penal sanctions in the Penal Code and the Military Code of Justice. It asked the ICRC for technical assistance in performing this task.

- 1997. Uruguay acceded to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.


VENEZUELA

1. ICRC activities

- March 1994. The ICRC regional delegate had talks with government authorities on the question of Venezuela's adhesion to the humanitarian treaties and the incorporation of IHL in training programmes for the armed forces. The regional delegate also met the Minister of the Interior to discuss the question of the repression of violations of IHL with regard to the police.

- March 1995. During further talks between the ICRC and high-level government authorities, the ICRC raised the question of Venezuela's accession to the 1977 Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons with the Director-General of the Ministry of Defence and the President of the Court Martial.

- June 1995. A representative of Venezuela took part in the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

- January/February 1996. During talks with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ICRC was informed that Venezuela's accession to the 1977 Additional Protocols was imminent.

2. Legislative and administrative measures

- 1997. A legal adviser from the Advisory Service on IHL went to Venezuela to advise the Venezuelan Red Cross on the preparation of draft legislation regulating the use and ensuring the protection of the red cross emblem.


 


III. COOPERATION WITH ORGANIZATIONS AND ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS IN THE AREA OF NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION OF IHL

1. ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES (OAS)

- The ICRC attends the OAS General Assembly on a regular basis, having been accorded the status of special guest. At the last four General Assemblies (Brazil in 1994, Haiti in 1995, Panama in 1996 and Peru in 1997), the OAS pledged, in resolutions on respect for IHL [1] adopted by its First Committee (Juridical and Political Matters), to urge member States to study the possibility of ratifying the instruments of IHL, to promote the widest possible dissemination of IHL, to adopt national implementation measures in order to prevent violations of IHL, and to establish specific national advisory structures to facilitate and coordinate these tasks. To this end, the General Assembly urged member States to implement in particular the recommendations approved by the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (December 1995).

- May 1996. The President of the ICRC and the Secretary-General of the OAS signed an accord whereby the two institutions pledged to cooperate in areas of common interest, particularly for the promotion, implementation and dissemination of IHL.

- July 1996. At its 26th General Assembly (Panama), the OAS discussed the question of anti-personnel mines as one of the problems of concern to the Western hemisphere and adopted a resolution providing for the establishment of a continent-wide zone free of all landmines. The text is in line with the recommendations on the subject endorsed by the seminar held in Managua in the same year and with the ICRC's efforts in this area.

- March 1998. The ICRC took part in a meeting of the OAS Commission on Juridical and Political Matters and presented a report on activities relating to the promotion of implementation of IHL at national level in countries and organizations of the Americas.

2. INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

- September 1995. The ICRC was invited by the President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to hold an informal meeting with the Commission's members at one of its regular sessions in order to exchange information and views on, among other things, fulfilment by States of international obligations at the national level.

3. THE CENTRAL AMERICAN PARLIAMENT AND THE ANDEAN PARLIAMENT

- Central American Parliament. The ICRC made approaches to Parliament members on numerous occasions to draw their attention to the importance of national implementation of IHL. In April 1996 the Parliament adopted Resolution AP/2LX-96 supporting a total ban on anti-personnel mines in the Central American region.

- February 1998. A member of the Central American Parliament took part in the first Regional seminar on national measures for the implementation of IHL, held in Panama.

- Andean Parliament. The ICRC has established contact and consulted with representatives of the Andean Parliament with a view to raising awareness in the parliaments of the Andean countries of the importance of universal adherence to the humanitarian treaties and the need to adopt national measures, particularly legislative instruments, to give the treaties domestic legal effect once they have been ratified.

4. INTER-AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF HUMAN RIGHTS

- The ICRC has maintained relations with the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights since it was founded, on the basis of a cooperation agreement signed in San José, Costa Rica, in 1985 and a Protocol annexed to the original agreement in 1991.

- Under these agreements, the parties cooperate with each other in their respective areas of activity, on joint projects, and for the organization of events relating to the promotion of IHL, human rights and refugee law and their national implementation.

- June 1995. In conjunction with the ICRC and the Ibero-American Training Centre, and with the financial support of the government of Spain, it contributed to the organization of the Inter-American seminar on the protection of the individual in emergency situations, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. The proceedings of the seminar were published as the Memoria del Seminario in 1996 in San José, Costa Rica, with the support of the Swiss government.

- February 1998. In view of the scope and diversity of the programmes and activities carried out by the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights and of the increased cooperation between the Institute and the ICRC in many spheres, a new cooperation agreement was signed to revise and supersede the earlier agreement. The areas of cooperation between the two institutions include efforts to promote dissemination and training programmes relating to IHL and human rights in both civilian and military circles, and advisory services offering governments guidance on the fulfilment of their international obligations.

Note:

[1]
AG/RES 1270 (XXIV-0/94) adopted at the ninth plenary session of the OAS General Assembly on 10 June 1994, Belén de Pará, Brazil: "Respect for international humanitarian law". AG/RES 1335 (XXV-0/95) adopted at the ninth plenary session of the OAS General Assembly on 9 June 1995, Montrouis, Haiti: "Respect for international humanitarian law".
AG/RES 1408 (XXVI-0/96) adopted at the eighth plenary session of the OAS General Assembly on 7 July 1996, Panama City, Panama: "Respect for international humanitarian law".
AG/RES 1503 (XXVII-0/97) adopted at the seventh plenary session of the OAS General Assembly on 5 June 1997, Lima, Peru: "Respect for international humanitarian law".

Ref. LG 1998-059-ENG