Ekaterina Zaharieva Openes the 1st Meeting of the National Committee on International Humanitarian LawDomestic | April 22, 2019, Monday // 17:20| views
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva opened the first meeting of the National Committee on International Humanitarian Law, established earlier this year, the press center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.
The Committee is established as an advisory body to the Council of Ministers, which will coordinate the efforts of the individual Bulgarian institutions and non-governmental organizations and will support the formation of national policies in the field.
"There is no better time for such a 2019 initiative when the world marks 70 years since the adoption of the Geneva Conventions, but in the coming months, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement will hold its 33rd international conference once convened four years'', said Ekaterina Zaharieva.
She pointed out that 70 years after the adoption of the Geneva Conventions unfortunately the military conflicts around the world are increasing and more and more people are in need of international humanitarian aid.
,,I hope that this committee will not become yet another formal initiative, but with the decisions of its expert group to make a full review of the Bulgarian legislation and the legislation in the area and to make recommendations to the respective institutions'', Zaharieva noted.
She urged members of the committee to use the moment and give voice to the Bulgarian example in the field of international humanitarian law, including the work of Bulgarian representatives in international organizations.
Among the decisions taken at the first meeting was that Bulgaria would join the 2017 Political Declaration on the Protection of Medical Staff and Medical Assistance in Armed Conflict. The document was initiated by France. At that time, 39 states have expressed their support for the declaration, of which 21 EU Member States.
National committees on international humanitarian law exist in 112 countries around the world and in 20 of the 28 EU Member States. They have the essential function of assisting Member States in the implementation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols thereto.
The Bulgarian National Committee includes representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Deputy Ministers of the competent ministries, the State Agency for Refugees at the Council of Ministers, the State Agency for Child Protection and the Bulgarian Red Cross.