Practice Relating to Rule 139. Respect for International Humanitarian Law
In 2008, in an address to a meeting of the Sudan Consortium, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs stated: “Joint international action must be based on agreed principles … [including] acceptance of international humanitarian law and respect for its institutions”.
In 2008, in a policy paper entitled “Norway’s Humanitarian Policy”, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that, in conformity with Norway’s humanitarian priorities, “Norway will: promote respect for international humanitarian law and counter efforts to undermine it”.
In 2008, in a statement before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the status of the 1977 Additional Protocols, made on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, the representative of Sweden stated: “Respect for, and implementation of, international humanitarian law rests primarily with each state, but it must be recalled that all parties to an armed conflict must respect humanitarian law.”
In 2009, in a white paper on “Norway’s Humanitarian Policy”, Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
Norway will promote respect for humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law, and it will work to promote a clearer division of roles between humanitarian organisations, other civil society actors and the military in increasingly complex situations.
The Government will … respect and promote respect for international humanitarian law and counter attempts to undermine it.
In 2009, in a statement before the UN Security Council on protecting women and girls in armed conflict, the permanent representative of Norway stated: “There is an urgent need to strengthen the respect for international humanitarian law in order to improve the protection of civilians in armed conflict.”
In 2010, in a statement before the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the counsellor of Norway’s Permanent Mission to the UN stated:
There is now an urgent need to work towards a greater respect for international humanitarian law, including through the Security Council. In particular, there is a need for an open and frank discussion on how the law should be implemented in order to provide adequate protection of civilians affected by armed conflict. Norway, together with France and the ICRC, has initiated a process to facilitate such a discussion, aiming to strengthen the implementation of IHL in today’s armed conflicts.
In 2010, in a statement at a Conference on Humanitarian Access held in Oslo, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that “both states and non-state actors have the responsibility – the duty – to respect and uphold international humanitarian law”.
In 2010, in a statement on the “Rule of Law” before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, the counsellor at Norway’s Permanent Mission to the UN stated:
Recent experience underscores the importance of international criminal justice measures and commissions of inquiry as legal tools to enhance respect for … international humanitarian law and to ensure accountability. These efforts supplement other numerous mechanisms, judicial and non-judicial, for monitoring compliance with international norms and standards by Member States …. We would like to commend the independent commissions of inquiry established to investigate serious violations of … international humanitarian law over the last years. In our view, to prevent conflict and combat impunity we should continue to strengthen international mechanisms to promote compliance with the rule of law.