The United Arab Emirates will host a three-day Partnered Military Operations (PMO) workshop in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The workshop will bring together more than 30 senior military officers from 24 different countries at the Erth Hotel (formally known as the "Armed Forces Hotel and Officers Club") in Abu Dhabi from 22-24 November.
The meeting, co-directed by the CIRC, a body with an exclusively humanitarian mission, aims to become a platform for the exchange of experiences between military, humanitarian and academic professionals and personnel.
In this way, participants are expected to share knowledge and perspectives on possible actions to improve the protection of civilians and other non-combatants, as well as civilian-owned assets. At the same time, they will discuss measures to limit the methods of combat in military operations during armed conflict.
This Partnered Military Operations workshop is the second cooperative event of its kind to be held in the country. The previous one, held in 2018 also in Abu Dhabi, hosted more than 120 senior military officers from over 80 countries, and was the venue for the discussion of laws in armed conflict and military operations.
"We are honoured to have the UAE Ministry of Defence co-host this important event, which is in line with our strategic relationship with the UAE and our shared ambition to engage in a global dialogue on key humanitarian and IHL issues," said Clare Dalton, head of the ICRC mission in the country.
General Salem Juma al-Kaabi, head of the Executive Department of the Military Judiciary, underlined the importance of the Emirati country in the field of international humanitarian law (IHL), as it hosts the Regional Centre for Arab States, which trains diplomats from the Arab world in the field. He also stressed that the UAE was one of the few countries to adopt international criminal law in line with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 1998.
Juma al-Kaabi also emphasised the role of the current president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in establishing "valuable frameworks from which humanitarian ideas have emerged, and which are based on the principles of protecting civilians, protecting the weak, bringing relief to the afflicted and helping all those in need without discrimination of religion, race, gender, colour or political affiliation in armed conflicts".
The UAE continues to strengthen its political, diplomatic and military relations with other Gulf and Mediterranean countries. Within this framework, it has developed projects such as "Zayed 3" with Egypt, "One Destiny" with Saudi Arabia and the Memorandum of Understanding on education with Israel, just a few days ago. Similarly, this event comes just days after the UAE's recognition by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) of the "Cascades" project; a platform that aims to provide continuing education to more than one million professionals from 14 different sectors in the fields of health and humanitarian care.
In recent years, the UAE has faced accusations from international organisations that it has been involved in conflicts in which international humanitarian law has been violated. Therefore, this workshop will be an opportunity for the country to continue working and positioning itself internationally as one of the main defenders of human rights in the Arab world.