Practice Relating to Rule 139. Respect for International Humanitarian Law
Uruguay’s Basic Information for the Pre-Deployment of Personnel Involved in UN Stabilization Missions (2014), in a section entitled “What is international humanitarian law?”, states:
APPLICATION OF IHL IN THE AREA OF MISSION
– It is first and foremost the duty of the STATE to apply IHL.
– The State has an obligation to take legal and practical measures, both in peacetime and in situations of armed conflict, to ensure full compliance with IHL.
– Act No. 18026 on the “Prevention and punishment of war crimes through the adoption of criminal legislation” has enabled the Uruguayan State to make progress in its compliance with its commitments under international humanitarian law.
In its Annex 7, entitled “Human rights”, the Basic Information further states:
HUMAN RIGHTS IN PEACE OPERATIONS
a) Duties of the members
Compliance with the law
Whenever members of peacekeeping missions are required to use force, they must be certain that they have taken into account the rules of conflict and that they will act in accordance with the Rules of Engagement of the peacekeeping mission.
In 2008, in a statement during the general debate of the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Uruguay stated:
Terrorism must be clearly condemned. We must increase cooperation among States with the aim to prevent that such attacks remain unpunished but at the same time making sure that the fight against terrorism is based on the Rule of Law and with due respect to international humanitarian law and human rights law.
This must be also the framework in the fight against drug trafficking.
Terrorism and drug trafficking seriously affect the enjoyment of human rights, whose protection has been one of the main strategic policies of our current Government who wants the respect of human rights to constitute not a simple programmatic declaration but a true expression in the daily life of its citizens.
On these bases our country has prioritized the strengthening of competent legislation and national bodies and has promoted the extension of the international humanitarian law and the strengthening of international institutions that effectively protect human rights and prevent its violations.
In 2011, in a statement during the general debate of the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly, the Vice-President of Uruguay stated:
Uruguay is not indifferent to armed conflict situations. This is why we have worked firmly, and will keep doing so, to preserve and strengthen the international humanitarian law standards that are applicable to such cases.