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Switzerland: Decision on an additional emblem alongside the red cross and red crescent to be made in December

07-11-2005 News Release 05/63

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement today welcomed the decision of the Swiss government to convene a diplomatic conference on 5-6 December that the Movement hopes will create an additional emblem alongside the red cross and red crescent emblems already in use.

The proposal for an additional emblem is the result of a resolution passed in 1999 by the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent calling for a comprehensive and lasting solution to the question of the emblem.

The diplomatic conference will bring together representatives of the 192 States that are party to the Geneva Conventions to decide on an additional protocol to those conventions. This is necessary because the additional emblem will need to have the same basis in international law as the red cross and the red crescent.

The proposed design is a red frame in the form of a square standing on one of its points against a white background. This was chosen because it is free of political, religious, cultural or other connotations. It would be equal in every way to the existing red cross and red crescent emblems.

 The Movement believes the additional emblem will reinforce its humanitarian mission.  

The additional emblem would provide an additional protective device for the medical services of armed forces and Red Cross and Red Crescent humanitarian workers in conflicts where the existing emblems cannot always provide protection because of perceptions of political, religious or other connotations.

It would allow National Societies awaiting recognition, which have problems with the rules on the use of the existing emblems, to join the Movement as full members and bring about real universality.

It would also allow existing National Societies, if they so wished and in agreement with their governments, to us e a combination of existing emblems within the new additional emblem.

The leadership of the Movement is calling on States to support the draft protocol at the diplomatic conference of 5-6 December and provide an international legal basis for a comprehensive and lasting solution to the question of the emblem.

 For more information, please contact:  

 Ian Piper, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Geneva  

 Tel: +41 79 217 3216  

 Marie-Françoise Borel, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Geneva  

 Tel: +41 22 7217 33 45