12 December 2008
Working Group Is Engaged in the Elaboration of New Legal Instruments for
the Regulation of Private Military/Security Companies
The United Nations Working Group on the use of mercenaries, which is currently engaged in the elaboration of new legal instruments for the regulation of activities of Private Military/Security Companies, will hold its fifth session at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 15 to 19 December 2008.
This session will be an occasion to debate with relevant actors key principles for a system of regulation. The Working Group will hold discussions with Member States, the International Committee of the Red Cross, civil society, including non-governmental organizations and academics, and representatives of Private Military/Security Companies.
The group of UN experts on the use of mercenaries will also be preparing its upcoming visits to Afghanistan and the United States at the invitations of their respective Governments.
The Working Group will continue to monitor the phenomenon of mercenaries and Private Military/Security Companies in its sixth session in Geneva on 30 March to 3 April 2009.
The Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination was established in 2005 by the Commission on Human Rights.
The Working Group is composed of five independent experts serving in their personal capacities, and headed by its Chairperson-Rapporteur, Mr. Alexander Nikitin (Russian Federation). The other Working Group experts are: Ms. Amada Benavides de Pérez (Colombia), José Luis Gómez del Prado (Spain), Ms. Najat al-Hajjaji (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) and Ms. Shaista Shameem (Fiji).
For more information on the the Working Group, please contact MrKarim Ghezraoui on +41 22 917 9147 or consult the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/mercenaries/index.htm
For use of the information media; not an official record