Norway holds event on humanitarian law

The Symposium is named after Trygve Lie, the first elected Secretary-General of the United Nations (1946 to 1952). He was born in Kristiania (now Oslo) in 1896.

On Thursday September 24, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre chaired Trygve Lie Symposium 2009 in New York. The theme this year was the protection of civilians and international humanitarian law.

The purpose of this year’s symposium is to strengthen the protection of civilians in armed conflicts. The increasing number of attacks against civilians forms the backdrop for the symposium.

There is a need to reach an agreement on how international humanitarian law should be interpreted in modern conflicts in order to ensure the adequate protection of civilians, and to discuss how those responsible for humanitarian law violations can be more effectively held accountable. writes Norway’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations on their website.

In his opening speech Støre proposed conducting a series of field studies. “Important lessons should be learned from ICRC’s experience in the field, and from states that have made their rules of engagement available to the public,” stated Støre.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Jacob Kellenberger were among the guests invited to this year’s Trygve Lie Symposium.

The participants included the Foreign Ministers of Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan and Senegal, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes.

Read the entire speech here

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