Vietnam respects and promotes enforcement of International Humanitarian Law

Monday, 2019-06-24 16:58:17
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NDO – Nearly 50 delegates from 16 countries participated in the 14th Southeast and Northeast Asian Session on International Humanitarian Law, which opened in Hanoi on June 24.

The five-day event is being co-organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.

Vietnam joined the 1949 Geneva Conventions on International Humanitarian Law in 1957. The ratification of these conventions marks a historic milestone and is a testament to the respect for and promotion of the enforcement of the International Humanitarian Law in particular and international law as a whole in Vietnam’s policy. Furthermore, the approval of the 1949 Geneva Conventions has highlighted the peace-loving, humanitarian and tolerant traditions of the Vietnamese people.

Addressing the session, Le Thi Tuyet Mai, Director of the Department of International Law and Treaties under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that alongside the 1949 Geneva Conventions, Vietnam has also been a signatory to many other conventions related to International Humanitarian Law, including the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention, the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention and the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, among others.

Mai hailed the session as an opportunity to review the development of International Humanitarian Law over the past 70 years. She emphasised that the 1949 Geneva Conventions are the foundation of International Humanitarian Law, noting that the interpretation and application of the provisions of these conventions are now facing major challenges, as advances in science and technology are changing the ways in which wars are conducted.

Pham Lan Dung, Deputy Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, stressed that the seminar not only aims to improve the understanding of International Humanitarian Law, but also offers a forum for experts to share their views and propose recommendations to reduce the impacts of wars.

For his part, Gianni Volpin, chief representative of ICRC in Vietnam, hailed the event as an extremely important chance to encourage countries in the region to increase their participation in implementing, developing and interpreting International Humanitarian Law.

He voiced his belief that the activities during the five-day session would create an effective premise for representatives from government bodies and experts to contribute to the exchange of information and experience in the region concerning the current pressing issues of humanitarian law.