AALCO-ICRC Webinar on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict: Prospects and Challenges

AALCO-ICRC Webinar on ‘Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict: Prospects and Challenges’

The AALCO Secretariat and the ICRC Regional Delegation, New Delhi jointly organized a webinar on the topic ‘Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict: Prospects and Challenges’ on Wednesday, May 15 2024. The highly engaging webinar was attended by close to 100 participants from across the globe comprising mostly diplomats and government officials accredited to governments of AALCO Member States. The webinar witnessed leading experts and practioners deliberating on the challenges facing civilian protection in armed conflicts and ways to address the same with special reference to the Afro-Asian region.  The Inaugural Session of the Webinar was presided by H.E. Dr. Kamalinne Pinitpuvadol, Secretary-General of AALCO, H.E. Mr. Kedir Awol Omar, Head of the Regional Delegation (India, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan) at the ICRC, New Delhi, H.E. Ms. Ina H. Krisnamurthi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia to India and Bhutan (in absentia) who in their remarks highlighted the importance of respecting international humanitarian law and safeguarding the human rights of civilians in armed conflicts at all times.

The Inaugural Session was followed by a Panel Discussion comprising Dr. P.S. Rao, former Chief Legal Adviser and Additional Secretary, Legal and Treaties Division, Ministry of External Affairs, Republic of India and former Member, International Law Commission who was joined by Ms. Margherita D’Asconia, Regional Legal Adviser, ICRC Regional Delegation, Bangkok and Dr. Srinivas Burra, Associate Professor, Faculty of Legal Studies, South Asian University, New Delhi. The distinguished panelists highlighted key legal aspects of civilian protection in armed conflicts including the Fundamental Guarantees under International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the Geneva Conventions of 1949 along with its Additional Protocols and the 2022 Political Declaration on Strengthening the Protection of Civilians from the Humanitarian Consequences Arising from the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas among others while emphasising the need to improve civilian protection in light of emerging threats and challenges. The Panel Discussion was followed by a lively and interactive Questions and Discussions session wherein the panelists responded to the queries of participants on diverse aspects of the topic.  The webinar was moderated by Mr. Abraham Joseph, Legal Officer, AALCO and the Vote of Thanks was delivered by Dr. Sumi Pant, Legal Officer, AALCO.