Malaysia: Improving compliance with the law
13-06-2003 News Release 03/69
The ICRC's regional delegation in Kuala Lumpur this week organized a two-day seminar on existing mechanisms to implement international humanitarian law and the possible need for new measures. The meeting brought together 53 international law experts from over 20 countries in the Asian-Pacific region.
Dato'Haji Ahmad Saleh, deputy secretary-general of Malaysia's Ministry of National Unity, welcomed the participants, and François Bugnion, ICRC director for international law, introduced the subject matter. Pointing out that recent armed conflicts have been characterized by a flagrant disregard for human life and dignity, both men stressed that only greater respect for humanitarian law would alleviate the plight of people affected by war.
In addition to their discussion of existing and proposed measures by States to implement international humanitarian law, the participants explored ways to encourage compliance on the part of non-State armed groups.
This was one of a series of five such regional seminars. Two were held recently in Cairo and Pretoria. The remaining two will take place in Bruges, Belgium and Mexico City in coming months. The seminars'findings will then be presented to the States party to the Geneva Conventions, whose representatives will attend the 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in early December.
Françoise Zambellini, ICRC Kuala Lumpur, tel. ++60 3 2093 0962
Doermann Knut, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++44 22 730 2677