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Discussion to implement International Humanitarian Law held

  • Published at 08:18 pm December 15th, 2019
20 participants from different countries attend an expert exchange meeting for the IHL committees of Asia on Sunday, December 15, 2019 Courtesy

A total of 20 participants from IHL committees of Asia attended the meeting

Bangladesh National International Humanitarian Law Committee (NIHLC) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has jointly organized an expert exchange meeting for the IHL committees of Asia.

The meeting took place on Sunday. 

A total of 20 participants from Bangladesh, Iran, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan attended the meeting as observers.  

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs of Nepal Upendra Yadav, Director (UN wing) of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh Shahanara Monica, and ICRC Bangladesh Head of Delegation Pierre Dorbes were present among the other dignitaries during the meeting. 

Experts across the region noted that violations of IHL occur, resulting mostly from a lack of implementation and compliance rather than any unfitness of IHL. 

However, IHL remains relevant in contemporary armed conflicts and strongly contributes to saving lives and reducing suffering during times of conflict, they said. 

Amid this backdrop, participants discussed the relevant issues on the implementation of IHL and other humanitarian norms, shared updates, achievements, experience, good practices, and challenges at their domestic level.  

Also, different ideas were discussed as to how NIHLCs, expert groups or similar bodies specifically dedicated to the implementation of IHL, can play more innovative and broader roles in other humanitarian issues that affect the region. 

The experts agreed that this type of exchange meeting provides an effective forum for NIHLC of Asia. 

The meeting further reflected on the progress that the states have made through the tremendous work carried out by the NIHLCs as this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions. 

The ICRC was present in Bangladesh at its birth in 1971, witnessing the war and its consequences, also the relevance of IHL for the victims.  

In 2006, it reestablished its presence to raise awareness and implementation of IHL among authorities, armed forces, law enforcement agencies and academic institutions, as well as continue to support Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS).  

Since 2017, the ICRC has been providing assistance to the displaced people from Rakhine and host communities in Cox's Bazar.