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Raising Awareness of the Montreux Document on PMSCs

DCAF is involved in follow-up activities related to the Montreux Document

The Montreux Document, finalized in September 2008, reaches its fifth anniversary in late 2013.  This represents an important opportunity to take stock of the progress over the last five years and, looking forward, identify ways to support both the implementation and wider endorsement of the obligations and best practices contained in the Montreux Document.  DCAF is supporting  Switzerland as it organizes – in co-operation with the ICRC – a “Montreux+5” conference on private military and security companies, to be held in December 2013.

In addition, DCAF supports Switzerland – in co-operation with the ICRC –in the organization of regional workshops to raise awareness of the regional issues associated with private military and security companies, and to identify regulatory options for governments, inspired in part by the Montreux Document.

In May 2011, the first regional workshop was held in Santiago, Chile for the Latin American region. A summary of the proceedings from that workshop can be found here [pdf-English, Spanish].

Subsequently, in October 2011, a regional seminar was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia for the North East and Central Asia region. A summary of the proceedings from that workshop can be found here [pdf-English, Russian].

DCAF also participated in a Pacific Regional Roundtable on the Montreux Document organized by the ICRC and held in Canberra, Australia in March 2012.

There are plans for further regional workshops in Southeast Asia and in Africa.

The Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States Related to Operations of Private Military and Security Companies during Armed Conflict, the result of a joint initiative between Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross, describes international humanitarian law as it applies to the activities of private military and security companies (PMSCs) whenever these are present in armed conflict.  It also contains a compilation of good practices designed to assist states in implementing their obligations under international law through national measures, and which it is hoped will have a normative influence on national regulation of PMSCs more generally.  It was finalized in September 2008 and is now supported by approximately 40 states.