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Commentary - TITLE OF THE CONVENTION
    [p.17] TITLE OF THE CONVENTION


    GENEVA CONVENTION FOR THE AMELIORATION OF THE CONDITION OF
    THE WOUNDED AND SICK IN ARMED FORCES IN THE FIELD OF AUGUST 12, 1949

    The title is not an integral part of the Convention. It comes before the Preamble ("The undersigned... have agreed as follows:"), and it does not appear again after it. However, as it was the subject of discussion, and subsequently of a vote by the Conference, it is official, and calls for brief comment.
    A difference from the title of the Convention of 27 July 1929 will be at once apparent. The latter was a "Convention for the Relief of the Wounded and Sick in ' Armies ' in the Field". The 1949 Conference, on the other hand, decided to adopt the wording "in ' Armed forces ' in the Field", as being a logical consequence of the extension of the protection accorded by the Convention, which in its new form does not relate solely to soldiers and to other personnel officially attached to the ' Army ', but also to other categories of persons specified in Article 13. (1)
    The title of the Convention of 27 July 1929 was not an exact reproduction either of the 1906 Convention, of which it purported to be a revision, or of the original Convention of 1864. In the first place it related (in the original French) to "the wounded and the sick" ("des blessés et des malades"), whereas the 1864 Convention related only to the "wounded", and the 1906 Convention to the "wounded and sick" ("des blessés et malades") -- a defective expression, inasmuch as it might be taken to mean that only the wounded sick were to be protected. (2) [p.18] In the second place it included the word "Geneva" as a tribute to the city which had seen the birth of the Red Cross and, at the instigation of the latter, the conclusion of the original Convention.
    The two changes in question were maintained in the title of the 1949 Convention, the designation "Geneva Convention" being extended to all four of the Conventions signed on 12 August 1949. (3) The Diplomatic

    Conference took the view that "from a practical point of view it would be preferable... to give the official title of "Geneva Conventions" to all these documents, as a tribute to the city of Geneva, the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and also to Switzerland as a whole". (4)

    Notes: (1) [(1) p.17] See below, on Article 13, pages 142 ff.;

    (2) [(2) p.17] The confusion could not arise in the English
    text, which accordingly translated both "des blessés et
    des malades" and "des blessés et malades" by "the wounded
    and sick". ("Les blessés qui étaient malades" would be in
    English "the wounded sick" or "the sick wounded".) --
    TRANSLATOR;

    (3) [(1) p.18] For brevity the first of the four Geneva
    Conventions of 12 August 1949, which is the subject of the
    present Commentary, will be called "the Convention" or
    "the First Convention". The other Conventions, where there
    is occasion to refer to them, will be known by their
    serial numbers. i.e.:
    "Second Convention" will mean the "Geneva Convention
    for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and
    Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea of August 12,
    1949";
    "Third Convention" will mean the "Geneva Convention
    relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August
    12, 1949"; and
    "Fourth Convention" will mean the "Geneva Convention
    relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of
    War of August 12, 1949";

    (4) [(2) p.18] See ' Final Records of the Diplomatic
    Conference of Geneva, 1949, ' Vol. II-B, page 457;