Discussing enforcement of international humanitarian assistance
On 3 June 2009 a round table discussion in international humanitarian law "International humanitarian assistance - its meaning and enforcement in Latvia" took place. It was organised by the Latvian Red Cross in co-operation with Foreign Affairs and Defence ministries and Riga Graduate School of Law.
Mr Reinis Aboltins, Baltic Communication Partners Project Director, analysed the recently adopted Latvian Red Cross Law, what are the basic tasks of the Latvian Red Cross arising out of it, what are the opportunities to fulfil them by strengthening the capacity of the Latvian Red Cross activity. Ms Solvita Martinsone, Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ms Gunta Kelle, President of IMKA Latvia, gave an overview on delivering humanitarian assistance to the victims of the Russian-Georgian military conflict. Practical experience, coordination of delivering assistance, as well as the recent draft laws concerning humanitarian assistance were analysed. Ms Inete Ielite, the Latvian international humanitarian law expert network coordinator, invited to discuss the issue of co-operation between State and non-governmental organisations for successful enforcement of State functions.
By concluding the discussion, Mr Maris Krauze, Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, invited the participants of the round table to look at the enforcement of humanitarian assistance in a wide context of Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols. Ms Ieva Miluna, Lecturer of Riga Graduate School of Law, invited in the framework of the next annual international humanitarian law conference to speak about what are the State functions that could be delegated to the private sector in the field of military law, as it is discussed with respect to functions of private military companies in the zone of combat. She also pointed out that the Latvian Red Cross should take a proactive approach to determine priorities, which are the issues of international humanitarian law that the Latvian Red Cross in co-operation with its expert network is comments on and expresses its position on. In delivering international humanitarian assistance the Latvian Red Cross should assume the coordinating functions for swift and effective assistance enforcement.
Mr Valdis Nagobads, Secretary-General of the Latvian Red Cross expressed gratitude to the participants of discussion and invited experts of the particular field to constructive co-operation further on.
The round table discussion was financially supported by the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation.