2018 marks the 10 year anniversary of the Montreux Document, and the meeting allowed to focus on how the regulation of private military and security companies (PMSCs) has evolved over the past decade and remaining challenges.
The Plenary, attended by over 120 participants, was chaired by Switzerland, represented by Ambassador Daniel Klingele (Directorate of International Law, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs) and the International Committee of the Red Cross, represented by Dr. Helen Durham (Director of International Law and Policy).
The plenary meeting was divided into three sessions. The first session was open to all states, international organisations, civil society and invited industry representatives and provided an overview of the development of PMSC regulation along with a summary of the MDF regional meeting in Costa Rica, as well as emerging issues in PMSC operation. Thereafter, the second session, open only to states and IOs, focused on good practices in the implementation of the Montreux Document including use of force, training, and mutual legal assistance, the relevancy of the Montreux Document in situations other than armed conflict, and additional processes relating to the regulation of PMSCs, including the UN Working Group on mercenaries, the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. The last session was held only for Montreux Document participants and focused on procedural aspects of the MDF as well as a discussion on topics and thematics for the future.
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.