Breakfast Briefing with Jonathan Somer & Ezequiel Heffes

Inviting non-state armed groups to the table: inclusive strategies towards a more fit for purpose international humanitarian law

Abstract: Join the authors for a discussion on their recent Overseas Development Institute Briefing Note Inviting non-state armed groups to the table: inclusive strategies towards a more fit for purpose international humanitarian law

Non-state armed groups (NSAGs) are parties to the vast majority of armed conflict worldwide, and 66 million people currently live in territory under their control. For better or for worse, they are key stakeholders in efforts to reduce the harm of armed conflict. Yet even thought their participation could result in more protective outcomes, they have had little say in the development of international humanitarian law—by which they are bound—and similar norms. With due regard to concerns of legitimacy and the prevailing geo-political culture, we propose a model of appropriate levels of NSAG participation in normative development processes, with the aim of reducing the harm caused by armed conflict.

About the speakers:

The speakers have extensive experience in engaging NSAGs around the globe on international humanitarian law and related norms. Ezequiel Heffes is a Thematic Legal Adviser at Geneva Call. He holds an LL.M. from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, and a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires School of Law. He is currently pursuing his PhD at the University of Leiden. Prior to joining Geneva Call, Ezequiel worked as a field and protection delegate and as a head of office for the ICRC in Colombia, Afghanistan and the DRC. Jonathan Somer is currently Legal Advisor at the Danish Red Cross. Prior to joining the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, he worked with Geneva Call and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. As a consultant he has advised, among others, the United Nations and the Government of Denmark. He holds an LLM from the Geneva Academy, and has been awarded the Henry Dunant Prize for his legal scholarship on NSAGs.

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See a list of all the Breakfast Briefings for spring 2021.