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Regional conference for Arab parliamentarians on the implementation of International Humanitarian Law

23-11-2005 News Release

The ICRC in Damascus has organized a first conference in the region on the implementation of international humanitarian law

 The following was issued as a press release by the ICRC delegation in Damascus on November 23 2005   


The ICRC, with the Arab Parliamentary Union and the Syrian People's Assembly, organized a three days conference, from 20 to 22 November 2005, on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) with delegations of 12 Arab parliaments. While taking stock of the growing tension in the region, and expressing their deep concern regarding persistent violations of IHL, the parliamentarians acknowledged the importance and effectiveness of this law to protect civilian population. At the end of the conference, the delegates adopted a declaration recommending that all Arab Parliaments proceed to create specialized commissions to supervise the integration of IHL provisions within the national legislation. They also urged Arab parliaments to consider IHL conventions which their respective states have not yet ratified.

After this initial meeting, participants expressed their wish to convey a second conference after a sufficient period to review progress and exchange experience. This conference follows directly a string of similar events organized by the ICRC in Damascus with the Syrian authorities. In November 2005 alone, a course on humanitarian law and combat operations was held for 37 high ranking officers, 60 judges participated in a seminar on IHL and 20 university teachers followed a specialized course in humanitarian law. Syrian police forces and diplomats also attended such a course in June 200 5. Since 2004, a Syrian national commission gathers regularly to look into the possible ratification by the Syrian Arab Republic of international treaties such as the second additional protocol to the Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court.

 For additional information please contact:  

 Irenee Herbet, ICRC Damascus, tel. +963 11 3339034 or +963 11 3310476