November 5, 2019

Promotion of the handbook on international humanitarian law for parliamentarians

Distinguished Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of North Macedonia

Mr. Talat Xhaferi

Distinguished parliamentarians,

Distinguished representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross,

Dear guests,

Distinguished representatives of the media,


International Humanitarian Law (ICR) is a segment of international law that unites the international legal instruments applicable to cases of armed conflict. Limiting the consequences of the conflicts is a matter to which the international community and states pay particular attention. The legal and statutory obligation of the Red Cross is to disseminate, promote and affirm the International Humanitarian Law in our country, with the support of the ICRC, as a guardian of the Geneva Conventions.


The Red Cross of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, as a full-fledge member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, carries out its activities in the field of dissemination, starting from the corpus of international instruments based on the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005 as well as basic documents of the national society such as the Law and the Statutes of the Red Cross of the Republic of North Macedonia.


The close connection between the Red Cross and the Red Crescent Movement and the Geneva Conventions, which many also call the Red Cross Conventions, came about because the Conventions had applied the basic principle of the Red Cross – humanity.


The National Dissemination Society implements disseminator training programs, education for special target groups, campaigns for the use and protection of the Red Cross emblem, promotion of human values, an IHL competition between universities in the Republic of North Macedonia, an IHL Summer School for IHL students, sharing experiences with national societies, creating a technical platform for better and more successful communication. For carrying out the activities and work, as set out in the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols and the Law on the Red Cross of the Republic of North Macedonia, the national society performs activities for Restoring Family Links – Tracing Service with the main task of bringing together displaced families and exchange of messages between family members separated by conflict.


In order to promote the implementation of IHL, and following the practice of other countries, the Red Cross in 2004 initiated a proposal to establish a national committee as an inter-departmental body. Acknowledging the initiative, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs considered that the establishment of a National Committee on IHL was in line with the Government’s commitment to accelerate Macedonia’s EU integration.


The establishment of the National Committee on IHL was preceded by a Study on implementation of IHL in RM developed by prof. d.r Vladimir Ortakovski, a longtime Red Cross activist and member of the National Committee. On this occasion, I would like to greet Mr. Ortakovski who is present at this event and express my gratitude for his contribution.


The National Committee on IHL reviews issues and makes recommendations regarding: Harmonization of national legislation with international humanitarian law, Effective implementation of IHL by undertaking and monitoring practical measures and activities, Monitoring the development of IHL and its dissemination in various social segments, promotion of co-operation and co-ordination between the relevant institutions, including co-operation with the Red Cross.


The Republic of North Macedonia is at an enviable level in terms of ratifying the IHL agreements and their implementation and dissemination. However, more needs to be done for their fuller implementation and more comprehensive dissemination.


In this regard, it is necessary to increase the efforts of the competent institutions to further promote the application of the norms of International Humanitarian Law in our country.


The Red Cross should also, through advocacy activities and instruments of humanitarian diplomacy, be more proactive in fulfilling the auxiliary role to the authorities in the country by constantly and permanently incorporating and pointing out the importance of applying international norms and standards in national legislation.



Dear All,


Allow me on behalf of the Red Cross of the Republic of North Macedonia and on my own behalf to express my gratitude to the International Committee of the Red Cross for support in the development of IHL dissemination activities in our country, gratitude to the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia for partnership and support in the work of the Red Cross in the country which contributes to the reduction of vulnerability in society.


Special gratitude  to the President of the Assembly, Mr. Talat Xhaferi and the Members of the Parliament who made this meeting possible, thus contributing to the further promotion and incorporation of international legal norms into national law.


Thank you

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