U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 30, 2019
Thank you Chair,
The United States agrees that states must take further efforts to advance respect for human rights by private military and security companies.
The market for private military and security contractors often prioritizes the utility of additional armed personnel over the observance of international humanitarian law and international human rights commitments and obligations—leading some private military and security contractors to abandon adherence to these standards.
The initiative of the Government of Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross leading to the 2008 Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States Related to Operations of Private Military and Security Companies During Armed Conflict is an excellent example of collective state action to encourage States to take further steps to regulate private military and security companies. Also important is the more recently established Montreux Document Forum that meets yearly to facilitate discussions among States on challenging issues that they may be facing. The United States commends Montreux state signatories and urges those who have not yet signed to consider its benefits.
In addition to the Montreux Document which applies to States, another complementary international initiative has resulted in the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers which sets forth human rights and humanitarian law-related standards for private security companies. The United States also strongly supports the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers Association, which is the governance and oversight association for the implementation of the Code of Conduct, and encourages countries to consider joining this Association.
Collaborations among states, industry partners, and civil society—like under ICoCA––provide a practical and sustainable method to developing and implementing policies which protect human rights even in the most adverse and challenging circumstances.
Mr. Chairman, beyond signing on to the Montreux Document and encouraging private security companies to become members of the International Code of Conduct Association, what further measures should Member-States consider?
Thank you very much.