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UAE plans wide-ranging reforms to fully comply with International Humanitarian Law.

Abu Dhabi: The UAE is considering introducing wide-ranging reforms to fully comply with the International Humanitarian Law, a senior official said yesterday (Monday).

"These reforms include issuing legislations, revising laws in force and introducing the International Humanitarian Law in military training and programmes of colleges of law, political sciences and mass communications," said Dr Abdul Rahim Yousuf Al Awadi, Assistant Foreign Minister for Legal Affairs.

Dr Al Awadi added the UAE has taken the initiative in spreading the culture of respecting humanity and ensuring the protection of civilians in troubled regions in the Arab world and around the globe.

"The UAE honours its obligations under the International Humanitarian Law and has brought education of the law to the curricula of schools and courses of universities," said Dr Al Awadi

The UAE is signatory to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which require states to disseminate the content of the humanitarian treaty as widely as possible in their respective countries.

"The UAE promotes knowledge of humanitarian law among those whom it is intended to protect -- the civilian population and casualties of armed conflicts -- as well as among those who have to apply it -- public officials of various ministries as well as different local and federal departments, starting with diplomats and those working in the educational, cultural, health, and relief sectors," Dr Al Awadi said.

Dr Al Awadi was reviewing the 2015-2016 action plan of the National Commission on International Humanitarian Law.

He said the UAE was considering signing additional protocols of the Geneva Conventions on the International Humanitarian Law.

Dr Al Awadi added that since its inception in 2004, the commission had undertaken spreading the culture of respecting human beings, in particular the protection of civilians during armed conflict, through a series of conferences, workshops and changing laws and school curricula.

Simple concepts of Humanitarian Law are being taught in primary and secondary schools and more extensive and analytical content is taught in universities.

The sub-committee on training and education of the National Commission on International Humanitarian Law also works to introduce the law as a subject in military instruction and training programmes and university courses in law, political sciences and mass communication.

The UAE Foreign Ministry's Emirates Institute of Diplomacy has been selected as a regional centre for training on International Humanitarian Law by the Arab countries. The institute trains Arab diplomats and local agencies on the law.

International humanitarian law is part of international law, which is the body of rules governing relations between states. International law is contained in agreements between states, in customary rules and in general principles. It applies to armed conflicts.

The action plan also include training courses for the trainers on the provisions of the International Humanitarian Law and Arab diplomats as well as holding the second conference on International Humanitarian Law.

A photo exhibition titled aACAyVictims of War' will also be held in March, in cooperation with the Swiss embassy in the UAE and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Jan 20, 2015
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