The event serves as a platform to promote the application of International Humanitarian Law. Photo: Ismael Batista

At a time when global headlines are dominated by reports of increasing military spending, the development of lethal autonomous weapons and the devastating impact of war, the 2nd Encounter on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is taking place from April 4-7 in Havana.
Participating in the event, organized by the regional delegation of the International Red Cross Committee for Mexico, Central America and Cuba, and the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), are senior officials and representatives from Bolivia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Ecuador.
Addressed during the first day of the Encounter – held on April 5 in Cuba’s Hotel Nacional, with the participation of the Major General of the Amy Reserve and National Civil Defense Chief of Staff, Ramón Pardo Guerra – were issues such as policies related to providing international humanitarian aid and the impact of arms and munitions in modern-day conflicts, among others.  
Speaking with the press, Juan Pedro Shaerer, head of the regional delegation, commented on the challenges facing IHL in regards to current conflicts, hostilities in urban areas, and the use of explosives in densely populated zones which kill, injure and displace people.
Shaerer emphasized the need for armies to be constantly prepared, highlighting disaster response efforts by the island’s Civil Defense and Red Cross.
He also spoke about Cuba’s solidarity assistance with other countries around the world, citing as an example the island’s contribution to the fight against Ebola in West Africa.
I thank Cuba and the FAR for making this event possible and have high hopes for its continuation in the future, he stated, while also recalling the first encounter of this kind which took place in the Cuban capital in 2015.