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South Africa: celebrating Geneva Conventions' 60th anniversary

04-06-2009 News Release 09/113

Pretoria (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation will host the ninth annual regional seminar on the implementation of international humanitarian law in Pretoria from 9 to 12 June.

Fatou Bensouda, deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, will officially open the seminar this year together with Catherine Gendre, head of the ICRC's regional delegation in Pretoria.

'' This year's seminar will be a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions,'' said Christopher Black, ICRC regional legal adviser. He added that, as in previous years, the seminar will give an overview of the latest developments in international humanitarian law, and focus on the current status of implementation of the Geneva Conventions in Africa.'' We will also deal with such issues as the draft African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, and the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which was signed in December 2008.''

The seminar will bring together 30 government representatives from 15 countries across Africa (Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe). All participants are specialists in humanitarian law. They will discuss and review progress in ratifying and implementing the various treaties in their countries and examine the content of certain treaties and the implementation requirements involved.

For further information, please contact:
  Janine Mosetlhi, ICRC Pretoria, tel: +27 12 430 7335 or +27 82 559 2046