Private military and security companies: Montreux Document participants Forum to continue working on implementation

Bern, Press release, 16.12.2014

The Montreux Document reaffirms the existing obligations of states under international law relating to private military and security companies (PMSCs) operating in armed conflict, and lists good practices designed to help states take national measures to implement these obligations. Six years after its adoption, Montreux Document participants have now established the “Montreux Document Forum” to continue working on the implementation of the Montreux Document and to share good practices and discuss challenges regarding the regulation of PMSCs. The Montreux Document is now supported by 51 states and three international organisations: the EU, the OSCE and NATO.

By providing a venue for informal consultation among Montreux Document participants, the Montreux Document Forum seeks to support national implementation of the Montreux Document and the development of implementation tools, as well as to bring more states to actively support it. The Forum further aims to strengthen dialogue on lessons learned, good practices and challenges related to the regulation of PMSCs.

The Montreux Document, which was finalized on 17 September 2008, is the result of a joint initiative launched in 2006 by Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). As the initiators of the Montreux Document, Switzerland and the ICRC will act as the initial Co-Chairs of the Montreux Document Forum. The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) will carry out secretariat functions for the Montreux Document Forum.

The Constitutional Meeting of the Montreux Document Forum took place on 16 December 2014 in Geneva. It was chaired by Ambassador Dr. Valentin Zellweger, Director of the Directorate of International Law of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), and Dr. Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Representatives from around fifty countries and four international organisations attended the meeting.

The finalization of the Montreux Document was followed by the introduction in November 2010 of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (ICoC), a complementary process also initiated by Switzerland.

Further information:

Private military and security companies
The Montreux Document
Participating States of the Montreux Document
International Humanitarian Law

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs