Investing in Humanity through Multilateralism, United Nations, New York

Moderator, your Excellencies.

We in New Zealand remain deeply committed to supporting the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, which form the core of the body of international humanitarian law, applicable to armed conflicts.

We are deeply concerned by ongoing violations of the Conventions, and the adverse consequences on civilians and other protected persons and humanitarian action.

We also in New Zealand are pleased to support the joint French and German initiative “Call for Action” to strengthen respect for international humanitarian law and principled humanitarian action. This is consistent with New Zealand’s support for efforts to encourage implementation of existing international humanitarian law commitments.

New Zealand demonstrates ongoing and firm commitment to the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols through a variety of measures.

Our Defence Force has published its revised Manual on the Law of Armed Conflict. This Manual is aimed to assist military personnel in identification and application of the Geneva Conventions in the coordination of military efforts.

Our Defence Force training and this Manual are regularly reviewed to encompass emerging trends in international law and to ensure the Geneva Conventions are understood and applied within contemporary and emerging contexts.

The New Zealand Defence Force frequently deploys legal officers alongside its other deployed forces to ensure the Geneva Conventions are applied on the ground in the theatre of operations.

Recently New Zealand has contributed legal advisers to the coalition against ISIS as part of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq.

New Zealand armed forces also regularly engage with their counterparts from around the world including with international civil society to actively promote the principles of the Geneva Conventions.

Thank you.