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International courses on law applicable in armed conflicts

31-12-1986 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 256

25th International Conference of the Red Cross, Geneva, 23 to 31 October 1986, Resolution 6

The Twenty-fifth International Conference of the Red Cross,

 considering that the States Parties to the Geneva Conventions have the duty of disseminating as widely as possible the provisions of these treaties and the other rules of international law applicable in armed conflicts, particularly among their respective armed forces,

 considering also that many members of the armed forces still have little or no knowledge of the Conventions and other rules,

 noting with satisfaction the efforts already made by the ICRC to help the competent national authorities to train officers responsible for providing instruction, within their respective national armed forces, on the Geneva Conventions and the other rules of international law applicable in armed conflicts,

 noting the need for the ICRC to continue supporting States with a view to enabling them to meet th eir obligation, under the Conventions, to disseminate and thereby help to ensure respect for the Conventions and other rules,

 1. invites the competent national authorities to step up their efforts systematically to include the teaching of the Geneva Conventions and the other rules of international law applicable in armed conflicts in programmes of military instruction,

 2. encourages the ICRC to continue organizing and/or sponsoring, on a regular basis, international courses on the Conventions and other rules for members of the armed forces, such as the courses organized by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo,

 3. recommends the ICRC to adapt the programmes of these international courses to the respective needs of jurists who have to interpret the abovementioned rules, and of other commanding officers and senior staff officers of various military academies and military units,

 4. encourages all States to send armed forces jurists and officers to the international courses organized either by the ICRC or under its patronage,

 5. recommends that all States organize such courses on a systematic and continuous basis in their national military institutions, bearing in mind the international courses which are given in this field, to achieve some standardization of the teac hing of the Conventions and other rules on an international scale.