English

News

  • Launch of the Guidance Tool for Contracting Private Military and Security Services

    28 Jul 2017
    States, international organisations, humanitarian organisations and non-governmental organisations increasingly hire PMSCs to support their security, in particular in situations of armed conflict or post-conflict environments.

    Nevertheless, the selection of a potential PMSC contractor is often primarily based on the ‘lowest price’ criteria. This practice can be harmful to a client’s reputation and risks leading to lower standards in the industry in general. Once a PMSC is hired, the performance and profile of the company and its personnel may also be associated with the client’s image.

    The role of clients is fundamental, as commercial incentives and restrictions in the contract can help compel private military and security providers to adhere to relevant human rights and IHL obligations. Contracts can also be a powerful legal tool to reinforce high standards. Yet, there is scarce shared information and experience to support developing contracts that ensure respect with these principles and rules. Reputational risks can also be mitigated with a contracting process which includes effective screening and vetting procedures.

    The Contract Guidance Tool draws on leading international norms and standards to reflect the principles of responsible procurement and contracting practices, and provides clear and practical guidelines for national contracting officers or procurement specialists. By translating knowledge and research into a practical and easy-to-use format, the Contract Guidance Tool provides implementation support for those individuals drafting, implementing, and monitoring contracts with PMSCs.

    The Contract Guidance Tools is composed of two distinct sectionsThe Contract Guidance Tool is composed of two distinct sections:

    PART 1 covers the bidding and selection process, including the development and publication of the request for proposals (RfP) and selection of potential contractors.

    Part 1 is complemented by a checklist that the user can consult when undertaking a bidding and selection process of potential PSMC contractors.

    PART 2 offers guidance on the drafting of the contract itself.

    This section contains an explanatory note and a model contract that reflects internationally recognised good practices, which can be adapted by the client as appropriate to context and needs.

    Download the Contract Guidance Tool (EN)


    The Contract Guidance Tool draws on leading international norms and standards to reflect the principles of responsible procurement and contracting practices.

    Contracts can be powerful legal tools to reinforce respect for human rights and international humanitarian law (IHL).



  • Now Available! Chairs’ Summary of the Third Plenary Meeting of the Montreux Document Forum (MDF)

    28 Jul 2017
    On 27 and 28 April 2017, States, international organisations, and civil society representatives gathered in Geneva to participate in the Third Plenary Meeting of the MDF.

    The meeting sought to promote dialogue on perspectives, opportunities, and challenges relating to the regulation of the private military and security industry and the implementation of the rules and good practices of the Montreux Document on pertinent international legal obligations for states related to operations of private military and security companies during armed conflict.

    The meeting was chaired by Switzerland (represented by Ambassador Jürg Lindenmann, Deputy Director of the Directorate of International Law and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (represented by Dr. Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy) as co-Chairs of the MDF.

    The third plenary meeting of the MDF was divided into three sessions. The first and second sessions were open to all States, international organisations and invited representatives from civil society. The third session was only open to Montreux Document participants.

    Chairs' Summary

    Agenda for the Third Plenary Meeting

    Background Document



    Participants were invited to engage in an interactive discussion with keynote speakers and other experts.



    The third plenary meeting of the MDF was divided into three sessions.

    The MDF enables participants to exchange perspectives on the good practices and challenges they face in the implementation of their obligations relating to the activities of PMSCs.



  • The Regional Conference Report Launch Event in Ethiopia

    2 May 2017
    On 24 November 2016, the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control for Armed Forces (DCAF) and the Institute for Peace and Security Studies at Addis Ababa University organised an event to launch the Report from the Regional Conference on Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs).


    The event gathered representatives of African States, as well as the African Union, Regional Economic Communities, and civil society. Photo: IPSS-Addis

    The report presents the discussions held at the regional conference in November 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the recommendations arising from it. This event was supported by the Swiss Embassy and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Delegation to the African Union and the ICRC Delegation in Ethiopia.

    The regional conference was co-hosted by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ICRC, and the Institute for Peace and Security Studies – Addis Ababa University, and DCAF. The event gathered representatives of African States, as well as the African Union, Regional Economic Communities, and civil society to discuss national and regional experiences with PMSCs and identify concrete ways in which the Montreux Document can advance in the regulation of PMSCs.

    The conclusions of the event highlighted that the widespread agreement that the provision of private security has undergone an important evolution with a rise in international PMSCs and domestic private security companies. Participants also discussed how the roles and activities of PMSCs have expanded; in Africa today PMSCs provide operational support to humanitarian actors. Finally, a number of participants raised that community experiences with PMSCs should be taken into account in research of PMSCs and expressed the need to translate the MD to local contexts and to develop actionable solutions.

    The Regional Conference in Addis Ababa followed the 2014 conference in Dakar, Senegal and raised awareness of the Montreux Document in the African context.

    The panellists were Professor Amr Abdalla and Professor Charles Ukeje, Senior Advisor for Education and Professional Development at IPSS, and Anna Marie Burdzy, Project Officer at DCAF.

    Download the Regional Conference Report (EN).

    The report presents the discussions held at the regional conference in November 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the recommendations arising from it.



  • Estonia becomes the newest state to officially support the Montreux Document

    25 Jul 2016
    Recognizing the importance of the Montreux Document in reaffirming legal obligations and providing states with good practices related to the operations of PMSCs, Estonia has become the 54th state to support the Montreux Document.
     
    Estonia

    On 6 July 2016, Estonia became the 54th State to officially support the Montreux Document.

    By adding its voice to the Montreux Document Forum (MDF), Estonia can bring a new perspective and energy to implementation efforts, particularly as related to the European Union, where 24 member states support the Montreux Document.

    With the new Legislative Guidance Tool for States to Regulate PMSCs, the national implementation of the rules and good practices contained in the Montreux Document is a key focus for the MDF.

    All states and international organisations are invited to become participants of the Montreux Document by communicating their support to the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. 



  • Now Available: Legislative Guidance Tool for States to Regulate PMSCs

    15 Jun 2016
    The Legislative Guidance Tool seeks to assist parliamentarians, lawmakers, policymakers and members of oversight committees, in more effectively regulating PMSCs.
    Legislative Guidance Toolkit

    The Legislative Guidance Tool will be translated into French and Spanish; these versions will be available before the end of August 2016.

    The Guidance Tool was developed as a response to growing challenges in national regulation of the private military and security industry. It is aimed to provide guidance to parliamentarians, lawmakers, policymakers other actors in national legislative processes such as members of the executive and oversight committees who are in the process of updating or developing national regulation related to PMSCs.

    Drawing on the Montreux Document and other international frameworks, as well as expert review, the Guidance Tool is structured around key challenges and proposes recommended content to include into legislation of PMSCs and PSCs, illustrated by examples of real-life good practices from different regions of the world.

    The Guidance Tool has the following objectives:

    • ­To raise awareness of existing national legislation, policies, and best practices
    • ­To provide guidance for parliamentarians, lawmakers, policymakers and other stakeholders to develop or update national legislation related to PMSCs, in line with international legal obligations and taking into account good practices from various selected contexts.

    The Guidance Tool will be translated into French and Spanish; these versions will be available before the end of August 2016.

    Download the Guidance Tool.

    The Guidance Tool is structured around key challenges and proposes recommended content to include into legislation of PMSCs and PSCs.



  • Second Plenary Meeting of the Montreux Document Forum

    29 Jan 2016
    On 29 January 2016, Montreux Document participants gathered in Geneva for the second plenary of the MDF. The previous plenary and constitutional meeting took place in December 2014.


    During the opening of the meeting, participants welcomed Madagascar, which became the 53rd State to officially support the Montreux Document on 5 November 2015.

    The Plenary was chaired by Ambassador Jürg Lindenmann, Deputy Director of the Department of International Law at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland and Dr. Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

    The Plenary provided a space for an informal exchange among Montreux Document participants on specific issues pertaining to the implementation of the Montreux Document and good practices. It was attended by 27 states and two international organisations supporting the Montreux Document.

    Download the Chairs’ Summary for more information.

    The Plenary aimed at enabling Montreux Document participants to exchange on the implementation of good practices provided in the Montreux Document.


    Second Plenary Meeting of the Montreux Document Forum



  • Third meeting of the Working Group on the International Code of Conduct Association

    28 Jan 2016
    The ICoCA Working Group gathered for its third meeting on 28 January 2016. States and international organisations participating in the meeting received an update on the latest developments within the ICoCA, in particular on its work for the elaboration of certification, monitoring, reporting and complaints procedures, and engaged in an interactive dialogue with the ICoCA.

    They also shared their experiences on the status of national regulatory procedures and processes for the regulation of private military and security companies.

    The ICoCA Working Group was created in December 2014 following the interest expressed by a number of Montreux Document participants.

    According to paragraph 12 of the Working Practices of the Montreux Document Forum, the mandate of the Working Group is “to provide advice to the Association on national and international policy and regulatory matters”. Previously, the Working Group met in December 2014 and June 2015.

    Download the Chairs’ Summary for more information.

    The ICoCA Working Group was created in December 2014 following the interest expressed by a number of Montreux Document participants.



  • Regional Conference on PMSCs and the Montreux Document held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    27 Nov 2015
    On 11-12 November 2015, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS - Addis Ababa University) and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) organised a regional conference on private military and security companies (PMSCs) in Addis Ababa.
    Addis Ababa, November 2015. From left to right: Dr. Yonas Adaye Adeto, Academic Director, IPSS, Ethiopia ; Ms. Alice McGrath-Crégut, Programme Manager, DCAF Geneva; Ms. Mutsa Mangezi, ICRC Deputy Head of Delegation to the African Union; Ms. Anne-Béatrice Bullinger, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland to Ethiopia.

    Addis Ababa, November 2015. From left to right: Dr. Yonas Adaye Adeto, Academic Director, IPSS, Ethiopia ; Ms. Alice McGrath-Crégut, Programme Manager, DCAF Geneva; Ms. Mutsa Mangezi, ICRC Deputy Head of Delegation to the African Union; Ms. Anne-Béatrice Bullinger, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland to Ethiopia.

    The Conference aimed to initiate a dialogue on the challenges and good practices of regulating PMSCs in the region. Participants also discussed the guidance provided by the Montreux Document and its relevance for the African continent.

    As the second Regional Conference on the African continent, the event was attended by 16 states from the Anglophone African region: Botswana, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. A Regional Conference for Francophone and Lusophone states was held in June 2014, in Dakar Senegal.

    With over 80 participants, the Conference was also attended by high level representatives of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Commission, the AU Commission for Political Affairs, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations (UN), and the UN Office to the AU.

    A high-level keynote address was delivered by Dr. Tarek Sharif, Head of the Division of Defence and Security, AU Commission.

    Related:

    Press release of Switzerland

    Press release of IPSS

    “Private military and security companies are a growing global phenomenon, which leads to valid concerns over ensuring the respect of human rights and international humanitarian law.”

    - Anne- Béatrice Bullinger, Embassy of Switzerland in Ethiopia.


    Participants of the Regional Conference on PMSCs.


    Participants of the Regional Conference on PMSCs.


    H. E. Ambassador Tewolde Gebremeskel, Director of the Peace and Security Division, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)



  • Madagascar supports the Montreux Document

    24 Nov 2015
    From an initial 17 states in 2008, the number of Montreux Document participants has more than tripled. Outreach efforts have been important and support for the Montreux Document continues to grow, including in the African region.
    2nd editionhand on pistol

    On 9 November 2015, Madagascar became the latest state to officially support the Montreux Document.

    Madagascar participated in the Regional Conference on the Montreux Document held in Dakar, Senegal, in June 2014. This conference gathered 16 states and was organized jointly by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, the Government of Senegal, in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Centre des hautes études du défense et securité (CHEDS) of Senegal, and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF).

    A follow-up round table to discuss further with the Malagasy authorities was held on 18 June 2015 in the capital Antananarivo. This initiative was undertaken by the National International Humanitarian Law Committee and supported by the ICRC and the Swiss embassy for Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles.

    Much remains to be done to increase support for the Montreux Document in different world regions, notably in the Asia Pacific region, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Promoting further support for the Montreux Document is one of the main objectives of the Montreux Document Forum, which could be pursued by all Montreux Document participants and in particular, by the Group of Friends of the Chair.

    By adding its voice to the Montreux Document Forum, Madagascar can contribute significantly to increase respect for international humanitarian law and international human rights law, wherever PMSCs are present.



  • New Publication: Progress and Opportunities: Challenges and Recommendations for Montreux Document Participants, 2nd edition

    1 Aug 2015
    The second edition integrates important new research, extensive feedback from Montreux Document participants, and the debates and conclusions of the Montreux+5 Conference.
    2nd editionhand on pistol

    The study assesses progress and identifies the ways in which Montreux Document participants are seeking to ensure more effective regulation of PMSCs.

    Initially commissioned by Switzerland in 2013 to inform discussions during the fifth anniversary conference, this second edition incorporates and builds on the conclusions and results of the Montreux+5 Conference. It includes updated feedback from Montreux Document participants, and integrates new research regarding the regulation and oversight of PMSCs.

    The second edition reflects important new developments that have taken place since 2013 In particular, one of the key recommendations of the Montreux+5 Conference has been realised: the establishment of the MDF as a means to promote implementation and outreach among Montreux Document participants.

    The study is structured according to six key implementation challenges faced by Montreux Document participants.

    Each challenge is analysed and existing good practices are considered.

    Recommendations are then put forward for ways to support more effective implementation of the Montreux Document.



Pages