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India: humanitarian issues addressed at the NAM Conference

16-04-1997 News Release 97/14

For the first time in the history of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), a separate section on humanitarian action was adopted in the final document issued at the conclusion of NAM's XIIth  Ministerial Conference held in New Delhi from 7 to 8  April 1997. The conference was attended by two ICRC representatives as guest participants.

In their statement, the NAM Ministers underlined the importance of promoting respect for the universally recognized humanitarian principles and for international humanitarian law, particularly the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their 1977 Additional Protocols. They also invited those States which have not yet done so to ratify or accede to the two Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions. Moreover, NAM's objectives now include mention of the need to respect international humanitarian law.

This statement was acknowledged by the ICRC as a significant step by the 113-member movement of developing countries, a movement which represents two thirds of the world's population and covers a number of countries where ICRC operational activities are under way.