The 2009 Round Table on current issues of international humanitarian law, held in Sanremo from 11 to 13 September 2009, addressed the issue of “Non-State Actors and International Humanitarian Law. Organized armed groups: a challenge for the 21st century“.
The debate focused on the issue of organised armed groups and in particular on the affordability and impact of initiatives of dialogue which could lead them to abide by existing norms. In this field, difficulties arise in precisely identifying and in clarifying the very notion of non-state actors; in defining whether and when they are parties to an armed conflict; in ensuring their adherence to relevant principles and rules of international humanitarian law; in preventing, prosecuting and sanctioning violations. The more general topic of the dissemination of international humanitarian law within the broader community of non-state actors was also addressed, both from the legal and policy perspectives.
The Round Table gathered together more than 200 participants from the different regions of the world including military experts, academics and representatives of governments, international organizations, IHL practitioners and NGOs which spent two to discuss IHL related detention key issues.