Samoa to host major Red Cross meeting

Samoa will host the 2nd Pacific Islands' Roundtable for International Committee of Red Cross (I.C.R.C.) on International Humanitarian Law (I.H.L).

To be held on the 14-15 May at Sheraton Samoa Hotel, government and military legal advisers and other experts from around the Pacific are expected to converge on Apia to discuss issues of mutual concern. 

The event will be co-hosted by I.C.R.C. and the Government of Samoa and it will gather senior officials from 12 Pacific Islands to discuss current issues relating to I.H.L. that govern armed conflict.

Discussions will include topics on nuclear weapons, the illicit trade in small arms, peacekeeping and the intersection between climate change and conflict.

According to I.C.R.C's Head of Regional Delegation in the Pacific, Vincent Orchilet, these kinds of discussions about the rules of warfare are important even in a peaceful region like the Pacific.

"It wasn't so long ago that both the Solomon Islands and the Bougainville experienced conflict and we are still seeing humanitarian impacts from tribal violence in the P.N.G Highlands," he said.

In co-hosting the roundtable, Samoa hopes to build on from the success of the Government of Fiji in 2017 and looks forward to sharing with other Pacific Islands not only Samoa's experiences in I.H.L. but also ways to overcome  some of the challenges faced in the implementation of I.H.L. at the national level as a small island state.

The first roundtable discussion was held in Fiji in 2017. 

I.C.R.C. is a humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland, and a three-time Nobel Prize Laureate founded by Henry Dunant.

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