Related Rule
Belgium
Practice Relating to Rule 139. Respect for International Humanitarian Law
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) states: “The States signatory to the [1949 Geneva] Conventions have undertaken to take a series of measures to promote respect thereof.” 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 55.
Belgium’s LOAC Teaching Directive (1996) states: “The general aim to be reached is to ensure in all circumstances full respect for the law of armed conflicts and the rules of engagement by all members of the Armed Forces.” 
Belgium, Directive sur l’enseignement du droit des conflits armés et des règles d’engagement au sein des Forces Armées belges, Ordre Général J/185, Forces Armées, Etat-Major Général, Division Opérations, 8 February 1996, Section 1.
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers states that the purpose of the instruction is “to bring the soldier in an armed conflict to react spontaneously in conformity with the elementary principles of humanity”. The manual also provides the following rule for the combatant: “I must behave like a disciplined soldier and I respect humanitarian rules.” 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Dossier d’Instruction pour Soldat, à l’attention des officiers instructeurs, JS3, Etat-Major Général, Forces Armées belges, undated, pp. 3 and 10.
Belgium’s Royal Decree on the Reorganization of the Interdepartmental Commission on Humanitarian Law (2000) provides:
Article 1
The Interdepartmental Commission on Humanitarian Law … is reorganised under the name of “Interministerial Commission on Humanitarian Law.”
Article 2
The Interministerial Commission on Humanitarian Law, hereinafter “the Commission”, is tasked to:
1. Identify and examine the national measures required to implement the rules of international humanitarian law, notifying the federal ministers concerned and submitting to them the relevant proposals;
2. Ensure the follow-up and coordination of the national implementing measures envisaged in Article 1;
3. In its capacity as permanent advisory body, assist the Federal Government, at its own initiative or upon the request of the latter, through studies, reports, opinions, and proposals relating to the development of international humanitarian law. 
Belgium, Royal Decree on the Reorganization of the Interdepartmental Commission on Humanitarian Law, 2000, Articles 1 and 2(1)–(3).
In 1996, in its third periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, Belgium stated:
Paragraph 1 of article 5 [of the Act of 16 June 1993 concerning the prosecution and punishment of serious breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and of Protocols I and II of 8 June 1977 Additional to the Geneva Conventions] … includes the general principle of humanitarian law whereby certain basic minimum humanitarian standards must be respected in all circumstances. 
Belgium, Third periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, 15 October 1997, UN Doc. CCPR/C/94/Add.3, submitted 23 August 1996, § 58.
In 2007, in a statement before the UN Security Council on the humanitarian situation in the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa, the deputy permanent representative of Belgium stated, with reference to Somalia: “While stressing the primary responsibility of the Transitional Federal Government [of Somalia], Belgium … recalls [all parties’] obligation to respect international humanitarian law.” 
Belgium, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Belgium before the UN Security Council on the humanitarian situation in the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa, 21 May 2007, p. 18.
In 2007, in a statement before the UN Security Council on the situation in Somalia, the permanent representative of Belgium stated: “All parties … are duty-bound to … respect international humanitarian law.” 
Belgium, Statement by the permanent representative of Belgium before the UN Security Council on the situation in Somalia, 17 December 2007, p. 10.
Belgium’s LOAC Teaching Directive (1996) provides that the General Staff of the Forces and the Medical Service “shall give the necessary instructions [to ensure in all circumstances full respect for the law of armed conflicts and the rules of engagement by all members of the Armed Forces]”. 
Belgium, Directive sur l’enseignement du droit des conflits armés et des règles d’engagement au sein des Forces Armées belges, Ordre Général J/185, Forces Armées, Etat-Major Général, Division Opérations, 8 February 1996, Section 1.
In 2001, in its initial report to the Committee against Torture, Belgium stated:
Paragraph 7 of the Code of Conduct of the Department of Defence (May 1999) also refers to human rights and international humanitarian law:
“7. I undertake … to respect … international humanitarian law in all circumstances.” 
Belgium, Initial report to the Committee against Torture, 8 July 2002, UN Doc. CAT/C/52/Add.2, submitted 14 August 2001, § 21.