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Mercenaries: UN experts final go at new international Convention draft

GENEVA (9 April 2010) – The UN Working Group* on the use of mercenaries will hold its last meeting on the ongoing process towards the elaboration of a possible new international Convention on the regulation of activities of Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs).

The group of independent experts will meet at UN headquarters in Geneva from 12-19 April before submitting its final report on the progress achieved in the elaboration of this draft legal instrument for consideration and action by the Human Rights Council, in September 2010.

Earlier this year, the Working Group shared with all UN member States the elements for a new convention on the regulation of PMSCs, urging governments to support this new legal instrument and set up an inter-governmental mechanism to draft and adopt a new convention.

The Working Group has been monitoring the impact on human rights of the activities of mercenaries and PMSCs and their lack of accountability, while advocating for the development of stronger regulation, oversight and monitoring at both national and international levels.

During this coming session, the five experts will also review recent allegations regarding the activities of mercenaries and PMSCs and their impact on human rights.

On 14 April, the Working Group will hold its fifth and last regional consultation on the regulation and monitoring of the activities of PMSCs with the Western European and Others Group.

(*) The Working Group is composed of five independent experts serving in their personal capacities: Ms. Shaista Shameem (Chairperson-Rapporteur, Fiji), Ms. Amada Benavides de Pérez (Colombia), Mr. José Luis Gómez del Prado (Spain), and Mr. Alexander Nikitin (Russian Federation) and Ms. Najat al-Hajjaji (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya).