Representatives from Timor-Leste Red Cross hold copies of a new book on international humanitarian law in the country. (Image/Tatoli)

DILI, 15 October 2019 (TATOLI) — The President of Timor-Leste’s National Parliament, Arão Noe de Jesus da Costa Amaral, has urged his parliamentary colleagues to brush up on international humanitarian law, because it has lessons for the whole country.

Mr Noe made the comments on Tuesday, on the 70th anniversary of the signing of what is now the touchstone of humanitarian law. The local branch of the Red Cross used the occasion to launch a new book on humanitarian law in Timor-Leste.

“Page 31 of this book says all parliament members can promote respect for international humanitarian law,” Mr Noe said.

Mr Noe, also the deputy head of the CNRT party, said elected members should be aware of how international agreements interact with their decisions in parliament.

The Geneva Conventions, signed in the shadow of World War Two, are a series of treaties mandating humane treatment of civilians, prisoners of war (POWs) and soldiers who have left the field of conflict. The four conventions have been ratified by all 194 countries — although fewer countries have signed on to three subsequent, but optional, protocols.

Mr Noe said now is as good a time as any to remember how important those agreements are.

“The National Parliament always supports activities which produce good results for the people, and I believe that in the future the cooperation between the PN and the Timor-Leste Red Cross will continue to bring good life to the people of this country,” Mr Noe said.

Originally published in Tetum as: Membru PN Bele Promove Respeitu Lei Umanitáriu Internasionál Liuhosi Livru

Journalist: Hortencio Sanchez

Editors: Xisto Freitas; Robert Baird

Translation: Nelia Borges

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