The second Roundtable Session entitled: “Building a Protective Environment for Civilians during Armed Conflicts” was an important step towards the protection of civilians during armed conflicts. The workshop was held in January 2007, at the Institute for Peace Studies of Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, with the initiative of H.E. Mrs Suzanne Mubarak, President of “The Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement”, following the first session, which took place in September 2006 in Paris, on the occasion of the Middle East crisis, specifically in Lebanon.
Among the participants of the Meeting were: H.E. Mrs Suzanne Mubarak, H.H. Shaikha Sabeeka wife of H.M. the King of Bahrain, H.R.H. Princess Basma of Jordan, H.H. Princess Hessa Bint Khalifa ΑΙ-Khalifa of Bahrain, Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the former Minister of Health of France Dr Bernard Kouchner, the Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Dr Ismail Serageldin, Dr James Jonah – Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General, the members of the Board of Directors of the Movement: the President of the Foundation for the Child and the Family Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, the President of the Belgian Senate Mrs. Anne-Marie Lizin, Dr. Leila Takla, and others.
The aim of this Meeting was to follow up the outcomes of the first Meeting so to put forward proposals for initiatives concerning the protection of civilians.
More precisely, the experts committed themselves to fight developing every national, regional and international network, in order to put an end to the following current unacceptable conditions around the world:
An exceptionally large number of people lives under the regime of foreign military forces deprived of their basic human rights.
In many countries, particularly in Middle East, the national unity and population physiognomy are infringed.
Due to armed conflicts and the environmental or other disasters caused by war as well as the violation of human rights, large groups of civilians are forced to migrate on a daily basis without any help or protection.
To achieve the objective, the delegates decided the following:
To encourage the countries that have not yet ratified the current humanitarian legislation as well as the human rights legislation, particularly the institution of the International Criminal Court for war crimes, to proceed with the ratification, in order to strengthen the civilian protection during armed conflicts and to take all the appropriate measures to assure them.
To encourage all countries to upgrade their humanitarian legislation and measures, as well as the criminal legislation concerning the prosecution of those violating the human rights. At the same time, to take initiatives for providing the victims with legal support and help through the international organisations and the relevant non governmental organisations.
To help all countries develop educational programmes to promote the culture of peace in the new generations and to encourage young people to act for the protection of their rights.
To ask the Government of Switzerland to organise, under its auspices, a Forum where personalities with keys roles in national governments and international peace and humanitarian organisations will take part, so that they take measures for applying a protocol which will effectively defend the victims rights and will provide them with the essential aid.
To propose to all national governments and the relevant organisations to establish an international organisation of coordinating role on the civilians aid and defence of their rights.
To organise through the “Women’s International Peace Movement” a global campaign for banning cluster bombs.
To support the international humanitarian organisations so they have easy and safe access to civilians during armed conflicts.