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Commonwealth and Arms Trade Treaty in focus – panel discussion

In partnership with the British Red Cross, the Commonwealth will host a panel discussion to explore issues relating to the promotion and protection of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), which governs the conduct of participants during armed conflict. Under the theme, 'Law, Humanity and the Commonwealth',  participants will address a wide range of issues relating to IHL and the Commonwealth, including The Arms Trade Treaty.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, who will provide the opening remarks, will be joined by speakers from Commonwealth High Commissions and representatives from international non-governmental organisations and the United Nations.    

In 2014, the Commonwealth and the British Red Cross signed a Memorandum of Understanding to help countries minimise suffering during armed conflict. The two organisations pledged to strengthen national IHL committees and Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in the Commonwealth, which play key roles in promoting IHL and advising governments on policies and their obligations under international treaties.

The event is an opportunity to raise awareness among Commonwealth High Commissioners about IHL developments, address challenges and explore solutions.