Vanuatu to have an established and functioning National IHL Committee.

Port Vila, 16 October 2018 — Vanuatu has now an established and functioning National International Humanitarian Law Committee (NIHLC) appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, Honourable Ralph Regenvanu.

The Council of Ministers, through its decision number 90 of 2018 has approved the establishment of an NIHLC whose functions are:

·         Work for the harmonisation of national legislation, regulations and practices with the international instruments of humanitarian law to which Vanuatu is party

·         Promote the implementation of international instruments of humanitarian law to which Vanuatu is party

·         Study and assess existing national legislation, judicial decisions and administrative provisions in the light of the obligations stemming from the Geneva convention of 1949, the additional protocols of 1977 and other instruments of humanitarian law to which Vanuatu is party

·         Advise the national authorities on issues relation to the implementation of humanitarian law, and to formulate recommendations and proposals in this regard

·         Monitor implementation of their recommendations and conclusions; and

·         Promote awareness of human rights and humanitarian law in the country by conducting workshops, seminars and disseminating information through the media.

Minister Regenvanu appointed representatives from various sectors in order to ensure a wide range of expertise, including:

Chairman: Allenrow Bani (Vanuatu Police Force); Vice Chairlady-Jane Bulesa Sao (State law Office)

Secretary: Majorie Wells or (DFA officers Jenny Tevi, Emmanuel Blessing Paolo Maximo, Fernandez Bororoa) members are from Department of Customs and Inland Revenue, Vanuatu Red Cross

Society, VANGO, Port Vila Hardware, Youth representative, Women Representative and Representative from the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs.

 According to International Committee of Red Cross’ (ICRC) Regional Cooperation Officer, Ms Christine Reddy Lata, ICRC is encouraging the Pacific Island National Societies to work with their respective governments to form their own National IHL Committees

Vanuatu started the formation process from October 2017, after the first IHL roundtable in Nadi- Fiji; it has now obtained the blessing of the council of ministers for the formation of the IHL Committee.