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United Nations - Office of Legal Affairs
Activities of the Legal Counsel of the United Nations

UN Legal Counsel participates in 40th Round Table on Current Issues of International Humanitarian Law in Sanremo, Italy

7-9 September 2017

From 7 to 9 September 2017, the United Nations Legal Counsel participated in the 40th annual Round Table on Current Issues of International Humanitarian Law in Sanremo, co-organized by the International Institute for Humanitarian Law in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Round Table is an annual event that provides a forum for leading practitioners, scholars and representatives of governments and international organizations to discuss current issues in international humanitarian law. The framework topic of this year's Round Table was "The Additional Protocols 40 Years Later: New Conflicts, New Actors, New Perspectives", marking the 40th anniversary of the 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions. Mr. Serpa Soares delivered the keynote address for the Round Table in his capacity as the United Nations Legal Counsel. In his speech, he addressed the protection of the United Nations peacekeeping personnel under international humanitarian law. Mr. Serpa Soares discussed the applicability of the rules concerning humane treatment and the rules concerning the conduct of hostilities, and elaborated on whether and under which conditions these rules would protect the United Nations peacekeeping personnel. He, then, commented on the applicability of the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel to United Nations peacekeeping operations in times of armed conflict. In the margins of the conference, the Legal Counsel held a number of bilateral meetings with participants on emerging topical issues, including with the President of the International Institute for Humanitarian Law, Judge Fausto Pocar.