In six years, the number of Montreux Document participants has tripled: from an initial 17 states, the Montreux Document is now supported by 54 states and three international organisations. However, there is a need to continue outreach in order to build further support for the Montreux Document across the different regions of the world and among international organisations. The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Sources (DCAF), in its Secretariat function to the Montreux Document Forum works with the Co-Chairs of the MDF as well as Participants to the initiative. DCAF undertakes a range of activities to foster awareness of the Montreux Document and improve its recognition. For these objectives, DCAF conducts policy research and analysis, organizes bilateral and multilateral outreach events and workshops, and provides briefings to national actors on the added value of the Montreux Document for more effective regulation.
Mapping Study on Montreux Document Outreach and Implementation
This extensive study seeks to inform Montreux Document participants on the strengths as well as the key remaining challenges in outreach and implementation and is designed to capture legislative practice by national authorities in their efforts to implement the rules and good practices of the Montreux Document. Additionally, this study seeks to identify themes and geographical regions that could benefit from further research, implementation, capacity building, outreach and knowledge sharing. As such, the study intends to promote discussion in the MDF as well as offer momentum and direction for the work of the MDF related to implementation and promotion of the Montreux Document.
Download the Mapping Study (2017).
To increase support for the Montreux Document and to encourage debates on issues related to the regulation of PMSCs, Switzerland, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces (DCAF) launched a multi-year programme of conferences, which have been held in:
- Chile for Latin American states (2011),
- Mongolia for states from North East and Central Asia (2011),
- Australia for the Pacific region (2012),
- the Philippines for Southeast Asia (2013)
- Senegal for Francophone and Lusophone African states (2014)
- Addis Ababa for Anglophone African states (2015)
- and Costa Rica (2018)
With primarily an outreach and awareness raising focus, the conferences also aimed to gain a regional perspective with regard to states’ interactions with PMSCs and to have an exchange on national regulations and good practices.
Most recently, the Regional Meeting of the MDF took place from 27 to 28 February 2018 in San José, Costa Rica, and gathered over 100 participants from 31 countries, notably 22 States from the Latin American and Caribbean region. Furthermore, high-level representatives of the Central American Integration System (SICA), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the United Nations (UN), and the European Union (EU), civil society, industry, and academic experts contributed to the discussions on more effective regulation of PMSCs in the region.
Montreux +5 Conference
On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the finalisation of the Montreux Document, representatives of over 60 states, and members of international organisations, academia, civil society and private companies gathered in Montreux, Switzerland in December 2013.
Organised jointly by Switzerland and the ICRC, with the cooperation of the DCAF, the event offered an excellent opportunity for states and international organisations to share their experiences in regulating PMSCs as well as to identify challenges and opportunities in securing wider endorsement of the Montreux Document and supporting its implementation.
The conference was opened by the Vice President of the ICRC Christine Beerli, as well as the Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Didier Burkhalter, who stressed that "the challenges ahead will require states to cooperate closely, exchange information and offer each other mutual assistance. Regular dialogue between states and international organisations that have endorsed the Montreux Document may well help us achieve full compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights." Flowing from these discussions, participants supported the idea of establishing the Montreux Document Forum. Download the Chair’s conclusions of the M+5 conference.
Apart from the multilateral conferences, the Montreux Document Forum aims at supporting prospective supporters in every step of the process as they study and examine the Montreux Document in view of becoming a participant. The Secretariat of the Document, DCAF, carries out awareness-raising and knowledge-building activities with multilateral and bilateral participants in Geneva or in the respective capital. Governments or representatives of international organisations who are interested in learning more about how the Montreux Document can support the regulation of PMSCs are warmly invited to get in touch with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic control of Armed forces in order to find prospective areas of collaboration.
Proceedings of the Regional Workshop for Latin American States
Proceedings of the Regional Workshop for North East and Central Asia
Proceedings of the Regional Workshop for Southeast Asia
Proceedings of the Regional Workshop for Francophone and Lusophone African states
Regional Meeting in San José, Costa Rica. (From left to right: Earl Harris, Patricia Arias, Embassador Christian Guillermet-Fernandez, Segundo Carrasco, Jean-Michel Rousseau)