The Round Table on current issues of international humanitarian law, organized by the Institute every year in September in co-operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross, is an international gathering very much appreciated by the international community as it offers an opportunity for periodic dialogue and debate on crucial topics of international humanitarian law.
Traditionally organized in close cooperation with the ICRC, the 40th Round Table took place in Sanremo from 7 to 9 September 2017.
The last Round Table addressed the issue of “The Additional Protocols 40 Years Later: New Conflicts, New Actors, New Perspectives”. While celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Additional Protocols, it focused especially on the protection of civilians and gender violence during both armed conflicts and internal violence.
The Round Table gathered together about 200 participants coming from different regions of the world including military experts, academics and representatives of governments, international organizations and NGOs. Experts had the opportunity to discuss key themes of international humanitarian law, such as the definition and the time frame of armed conflicts, as well as the threshold of the application of the Protocols. Some of the core principles of IHL, such as the principles of distinction and precaution, were also addressed.
The Round Table provided a forum to discuss other relevant topics including the application of the provisions regarding persons deprived of their liberty, the protection of medical personnel, facilities and transport and the question of humanitarian access. However, the central theme of this year’s Round Table was the issue of gender in its different aspects, which has become an increasingly important subject on the international agenda.
The Sanremo Round Table, milestone of the activities of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, encourages members of scientific, diplomatic, institutional and military circles from all over the world to meet informally and to examine the more burning issues concerning the promotion of, respect for and development of international humanitarian law with an eye to the future.
More than forty years of meetings and intense academic activity addressing the main topics of humanitarian law, under the auspices of the Institute, have created what has universally become known as “humanitarian dialogue in the spirit of Sanremo”.