Guidance to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global on Current Armed Conflicts and IHL

At the request of the Council on Ethics of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global – also known as the Oil Fund and the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund – the Geneva Academy provided background information – in the form of a report – on current armed conflicts and international humanitarian law (IHL).

The author of the report, our Research Fellow Dr Chiara Redaelli, presented the report’s main findings to the Council of Ethics on 28 April and briefed its members on current armed conflicts and IHL.

The Council members were very happy with the report and pleased by the very clear and structured presentation at the Council meeting.

Identifying States Committing War Crimes to Inform the Fund’s Investment Policy

The Fund’s ethical guidelines regulate its investment policy. Updated in September 2021, these guidelines notably underline that companies that are selling arms to states who then use them in violations of IHL should be removed from the Fund’s portfolio.

On this basis, the Council on Ethics must identify states engaged in armed conflicts that use weapons in ways that constitute serious and systematic violations of the international rules on the conduct of hostilities, as well as companies in the Fund's portfolio that sell weapons to these states.

‘Our report aims at providing the Council with factual and clear information in order to make informed decisions about its portfolio and investments’ It is important to have an open and honest discussion on these crucial issues, and it has been a pleasure to see the interest and commitment shown by the members of the Council’ explains Dr Redaelli.

The report – which remains confidential – starts by identifying the current situations of armed violence that amount to an armed conflict under IHL. It then identifies the states that are party to one or several armed conflicts and, among these, those that use weapons in ways that constitute serious IHL violations as defined in Article 7(1)(b)(i) of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), namely those committing possible war crimes.

Building on our RULAC Online Portal

The report draws on our Rule of Law in Armed Conflict (RULAC) online portal to identify the current situations of armed violence that amount to an armed conflict under IHL and states that are parties to these conflicts.

This unique online resource – and the sole independent and public classification of armed conflicts – currently monitors more than 110 armed conflicts involving at least 55 states and more than 70 armed non-state actors.

For each conflict, RULAC details the factual and methodological basis for its classification and identifies the parties and the applicable international law. The portal also includes sections on the definition and categories of armed conflict under IHL and the legal framework governing armed conflicts.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Donbass, destruction before a building News

Our Experts and Resources on Ukraine

10 August 2022

Discover our resources and what our experts say about the situation in Ukraine, with regular updates to include new events, articles and comments!

Read more

Portrait of Professor Marco Sassoli News

Professor Marco Sassòli Will Participate in an OSCE Mission to Enquire into Violations of IHL and IHRL in Ukraine

15 March 2022

Professor Marco Sassòli has been appointed as one of three experts on a mission to investigate violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in Ukraine for the OSCE.

Read more

Ukraine, damaged bicycle and car in front of a destroyed building Short Course

Protection of Persons and Property in International Armed Conflict

17 November - 10 January 2024

After having followed this online short course, participants will know who the protected persons and goods are and what rules of IHL can be used for their protection in an international armed conflict. An overview of the rules applicable in non-international armed conflicts will also be given.

Read more

Afghanistan, Parwan detention facility. Inside a room where detainees of the prison, separated by an acrylic glass, are allowed to meet with their families a couple of times per year with the help of the ICRC employees who facilitate the programme. Short Course

Preventing and Combating Terrorism

Spring 2023

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, discusses the extent to which states may limit and/or derogate from their international human rights obligations in order to prevent and counter-terrorism and thus protect persons under their jurisdiction.

Read more

On the screen, on the screen is Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), briefing the Security Council on the 70th Anniversary of Geneva Conventions. Project

International Humanitarian Law and the United Nations Security Council

Completed in January 2020

Read more

A wheelchair completely destroyed after the bombing of a civilian area Project

Disability and Armed Conflict

Completed in May 2016

This project aimed to ensure better protection of and assistance for persons with disabilities in situations of armed conflict or its aftermath by identifying legal obligations to protect and assist persons with disabilities during conflict, and the policies and practices required to put these obligations into effect.

Read more

Cover of the Publication Publication

The Future Digital Battlefield and Challenges for Humanitarian Protection: A Primer

published on April 2022

Henning Lahmann

Read more