The Regional Meeting was opened on 27 February 2018 by Ambassador Christian Guillermet, Director General for Foreign Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica, Swiss Ambassador in Costa Rica Mirko Giulietti , and Dr. Knut Doermann, Chief Legal Officer of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The Regional Meeting was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica, with the support of the co-Chairs of the Montreux Document Forum – namely the Switzerland and the ICRC – and the technical support of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF). The event gathered representatives of Latin American and Caribbean States as well as States from other regions, the Organization of American States, the Central American Integration System, and the Caribbean Community. The meeting aimed to discuss national and regional experiences with private military and security companies (PMSCs) and identify concrete ways in which the Montreux Document can advance implementation of PMSC regulations.
The Montreux Document is the product of an initiative, launched jointly in 2006 by Switzerland and the ICRC. The Montreux Document was finalised in 2008 and today, 54 States and 3 International Organisations have expressed their support for it, including 4 LAC States: Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Uruguay. The Montreux Document enhances the protection afforded to people affected by different forms of violence by recalling existing obligations of States under international law and listing good practices aimed to assist States in the regulation of PMSCs. The Montreux Document promotes respect for international humanitarian law and human rights law and helps States take national measures to implement these obligations. Established in 2014 as a venue for informal consultation on the implementation of the Montreux Document, the Montreux Document Forum (MDF) also constitutes an important source of capacity-building. Practical implementation tools and resources have been developed to support Montreux Document participants in their regulatory efforts regarding PMSCs.
Gathering Montreux Document participants and States in the LAC region, this meeting served to highlight the application of the Montreux Document and its added value and relevance for States’ regulatory efforts across LAC.