Sixth Committee Debate on the ‘Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts’

About the author(s):

Katharine Fortin

Katharine Fortin is an Associate Professor at Utrecht University where she teaches IHL and IHRL. Before joining Utrecht University, she worked at the ICTY, ICC and Norton Rose Fulbright. She is the author of The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2017) which won the 2018 Lieber Prize. She has written widely about the framework of law that applies to armed groups in non-international armed conflicts and is one of the editors of the Armed Groups and International Law blog.

Last week, the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations discussed the ‘Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts’. This item was first placed on the agenda of the United Nations in 1982 at the request of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The General Assembly considers the question bi-annually, after first receiving a report prepared by the Secretary-General.

This year’s report can be found here and contains information received by eighteen Member States and the ICRC. In their submissions, the Member States are supposed to document the measures that they have taken to strengthen the existing body of international humanitarian law, inter alia with respect to its dissemination and full implementation at national level. The full record of the General Assembly debate before the Sixth Committee is found here.

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