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Eesti sõnavõtt kolmandal ametlikul IHLi tugevdamise protsessi kohtumisel

20.12.2017

Third Formal Meeting of Intergovernmental Process on Strengthening Respect for International Humanitarian Law (IHL)

Intervention by ESTONIA

Session: Ways to enhance the implementation of IHL using the potential of the International Conference and IHL regional forums

Genf, 4 detsember 2017

Estonia commends the ICRC’s and Switzerland’s efforts in the Intergovernmental Process on Strengthening Respect for IHL, including the delivery of the Report on Existing Mechanisms as well as the Draft Background Document.

Estonia remains committed to strengthening compliance with and respect for International Humanitarian Law. However, we consider that the Report prepared by the co-facilitators demonstrates that the existing mechanisms do not provide for the most effective way forward as stipulated in Resolution 2 of the 32nd International Conference. It would therefore be preferable to also reach an agreement on the features and functions of a potential forum of States, as stated in Resolution 2. Estonia therefore reconfirms its strong support for the establishment of a forum of States that would serve as a separate platform tasked specifically with strengthening compliance with and respect for IHL.

However, as already noted by some delegations, Resolution 2 has a twofold aim in that it also urges exploring “ways to enhance the implementation of IHL using the potential of the International Conference and IHL regional forums”. Estonia is therefore ready to explore the potential of existing mechanisms and ways of enhancing the implementation of IHL through such mechanisms.

The International Conference, for instance, represents a unique and very valuable mechanism to enhance and inspire humanitarian debates among governments, as well as the Movement. It is worth discussing whether the conference at present is utilised to its full potential and where existing gaps can be filled in respect to IHL issues. We do, however, consider that the International Conference in its current form has proven its value and Estonia cautions against changing the very nature thereof.

Furthermore, we would be ready to consider potential intersessional meetings of the Conference. We also welcome ideas presented by some States, who have drawn attention to the Challenges Reports, meriting more thorough and frequent discussion.

Estonia stresses that it is the States’ duty to respect and ensure respect for IHL in all circumstances. We are therefore open to discussing States’ further concrete proposals on how this could be better achieved through the existing international mechanisms and how respect for IHL can be strengthened in practice.

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