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Burundi: workshops on humanitarian law mark 150 years of humanitarian endeavour

25-06-2009 News Release 128/09

Bujumbura (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will hold three workshops on Burundi's ratification of treaties of international humanitarian law from 23 to 25 June.

The first two workshops are intended for members of parliament and representatives of the ministries involved in ratifying and implementing treaties of international humanitarian law. The aim is to review the main treaties that Burundi has yet to ratify and the treaties for which national implementation laws still need to be adopted. Another goal is to make the participants more aware of the role they must play in the process of ratifying and implementing these treaties.

" In keeping with its responsibility to promote international humanitarian law, the ICRC has been providing support for many years for Burundi's efforts to bring its legislation into line with treaties to which it is party, " said Alessandra Menegon, who heads the ICRC delegation in Burundi. " The workshops are intended to raise awareness among those concerned and to encourage them to play a full and effective role in the process. "

Burundi is party to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and to their Additional Protocols. In addition, it has signed or ratified other instruments of international humanitarian law. As in many other countries, however, the process of incorporating these instruments into national legislation is complex and involves several agencies. Consequently, the first two workshops will examine Burundi's participation in treaties of international humanitarian law and mechanisms for national implementation.

The third workshop is intended for members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of international organizations. Its aim is to inform them fully about the ICRC's status, mandate and activities, and to remind them of the importance of their supp ort for the promotion and development of international humanitarian law.

The workshops are among the activities organized by the ICRC's Burundi delegation to mark the 150th anniversary of the humanitarian initiative at the basis of the Red Cross. All the components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are taking part in the commemoration of this anniversary through a worldwide campaign called Our world. Your move., which aims to stimulate public discussion on the world situation and spur on efforts to make it better.

For further information, please contact:
  Valery Mbaoh Nana, ICRC Bujumbura, tel: +257 79 944 380 / 22 21 29 08 / 22 21 28 65