Abu Dhabi: The UAE honours its obligations under the International Humanitarian Law to protect civilians, particularly children and women, in armed conflicts, senior officials said on Wednesday.
“The UAE has sustained efforts and will continue to do more to implement rules of the International Humanitarian Law to protect civilians, particularly children and women in armed conflicts in Syria and Yemen,” said Ahmad Abdul Rahman Al Jarman, Assistant Foreign Minister for Human Rights and International Law.
Al Jarman, also head of the UAE National Committee for International Humanitarian Law, said the UAE was one of the first countries to respond to the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria, working with local and international partners to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.
“The UAE’s efforts include significant measures to help Syrian refugees, including funding the Marajeeb Al Fhood refugee camp in Jordan, which is operated by the Emirates Red Crescent Society and serves more than 4,000 Syrian refugees, as well as supporting camps across Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq,” Al Jarman said as he reviewed the 2019-2020 action plan of the National Commission on International Humanitarian Law.
Help was extended to the world’s needy regardless of race, religion or colour, to alleviate the suffering of those affected by conflicts and natural disasters and to provide them with a decent living.
Al Jarman added as part of the legacy of the Founding Father Shaikh Zayed, the UAE responds immediately to people suffering in disaster situations and help refugees requiring assistance.
“Help was extended to the world’s needy regardless of race, religion or colour, to alleviate the suffering of those affected by conflicts and natural disasters and to provide them with a decent living,” Al Jarman said.
Al Jarman said the UAE continues to promote teaching of and respect for International Humanitarian Law and has introduced it in military training and programmes of colleges of law, political sciences and mass communications.
“The UAE has brought education of the International humanitarian Law to courses of the UAE University and military and security colleges since the academic year 2014-15,” Al Jarman said.
The UAE is signatory to the 1949 Geneva Convention and its additional protocols on the International Humanitarian Law, which require states to disseminate the content of the humanitarian treaty as widely as possible in their respective countries.
Al Jarman added 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 Mohammad Mahmoud Al Kamali, Vice-President of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission — an international body that investigates possible breaches of the International Humanitarian Law — said since its inception in 2004, the National Committee for International Humanitarian Law had undertaken spreading the culture of protection of civilians during armed conflict, through a series of conferences, workshops and changing laws and school curricula.
“The plan provides for introducing simple concepts of Humanitarian Law in the curricula of preparatory and secondary schools while more extensive and analytical content is taught in universities,” said Al Kamali, also director general of the Judicial Training Institute.
Al Kamali added all National Service recruits will be given a training course on the International Humanitarian Law. ‘Judges, prosecutors and members of the Federal national Council are also trained on the law,” he said.
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 conference on International Humanitarian Law.
The UAE National Commission for International Humanitarian Law was established in 2004. It consists of three committees: Legislations, Training and Education, and Media and Publication.