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Expert panel recommends amending UN treaty for clearer definition of mercenaries

The experts, drawn from government, academia and the human rights community, focused on elaborating a clearer legal definition of mercenaries and concluded that steps should be taken to promote regulation and supervision of activities that may not yet be prohibited but that could lead to mercenary activities, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which convened the meeting, said today.As a result, the panel recommended that the UN Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing, and Training of Mercenaries, which came into force in October 2001, be amended to make the prevention and punishment of the activities of mercenaries more efficient.Meeting last week in Geneva, the nine experts stressed the need for appropriate national and international legislation to combat the phenomenon and urged that consideration be given to establishing a monitoring mechanism to improve the accountability of private security or military companies. Parameters of State responsibility in this regard should be strengthened, the panel said.The panel first met earlier this year to survey the phenomenon of mercenary activity in several regions of the world. read more