The Sixth Annual South Asian Conference on International Humanitarian Law themed “IHL: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” was organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Colombo recently.
“New technologies of warfare, commonly called ‘cyber warfare’ underline the specificity of cyberspace as a potential method for warfare. This development underlines the particular challenges posed by cyber operations to the observance of the IHL prohibition of indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks, as well as the obligation to take feasible precautions in attack,” stated the Sri Lankan Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr. Rohan Perera.
He went on to say that International Humanitarian Law (IHL) will have to regulate these new means and methods in warfare since it poses a serious threat to international peace and security and a grave threat to the very survival of humanity.
He brought up the legal challenges posed by remote controlled weapons systems and how the existing principles of IHL does not respond these new technologies.
“The very nature of this phenomenon in present day conflicts confronts the modern state with complex demands and compulsions which requires a careful and delicate balancing of the imperatives of preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state, whilst respecting international humanitarian obligations,” he said. It is increasingly recognized that the evolution of peacekeeping demands that the protection of civilians in such violent conflicts is the essential component of peacekeeping operations.The ways and methods in which IHL will apply to this changed environment is a matter that demands the urgent attention of the international community, he said.
To read the full speech please visit SLMission