The United Nations and International Humanitarian Law: The International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations' involvement in the implementation of international humanitarian law

International Symposium on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations, Geneva, 19-21 October 1995. Paper presented by Dr Hans-Peter Gasser, Senior Legal Adviser, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Geneva.

Several reports presented at this Symposium have examined the various ways in which the United Nations is called upon to contribute to implement and ensure compliance with international humanitarian law by States and other actors on the international scene. My task is to put some of those findings into a specific perspective. I have been asked to analyse the perception which the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has of the United Nations'involvement in promoting international humanitarian law. What is the ICRC's reaction to the United Nations'involvement in questions of humanitarian law? Answering this question is a rather delicate task because, as a non-governmental, apolitical and neutral body, the ICRC is not expected to publicly express its views on United Nations'activities. If I nevertheless venture to go into the matter, the views I express are entire ly personal and should not be attributed to the ICRC.

The vastness of the field to be covered makes it impossible to offer a comprehensive analysis of the ICRC's practice in a brief presentation such as this. Examples of the ICRC's experience with UN actions must suffice. I would also like to make clear that remarks on specific situations represent a discussion of the UN and international humanitarian law, and therefore in no way constitute comment on the underlying conflict.

Introductory remarks  

Before discussing the practice of the United Nations it might be useful to answer a preliminary question: Does the UN have the power to deal with humanitarian issues arising from armed conflict? In order to find an adequate answer we must consider the Organization's objectives. Article I of the Charter entrusts the United Nations inter  alia with maintaining international peace and security, and empowers the Security Council to take necessary action to maintain and to restore peace [1 ] . In carrying out this duty the Security Council must act " in accordance with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations. " [2 ]  Article I of the Charter, like Article 55, enjoins the UN " to promote and encourage respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all. " [3 ] The Charter does not mention international humanitarian law.

But the theme of this Symposium, and hence of this paper, is not the promotion of human rights by the UN, but rather the Organizations involvement in the promotion and implementation o f international humanitarian law.  In my view, however, there is no doubt that the Charter's notion of " human rights and fundamental freedoms for all " also includes what the United Nations itself has called " human rights in armed conflicts " [4 ] , and what is referred to as " international humanitarian law " in this paper. My view is naturally based on the premise that humanitarian law and human rights law are not completely separate fields of law, and that is my opinion. Both human rights law and international humanitarian law set limits to violence against human life and dignity. While human rights standards apply in all circumstances, humanitarian law is law devised specially for armed conflicts. Thus, the two bodies of law have a distinct raison d'être.  But human rights law and humanitarian law share a common basis and sometimes overlap. In certain circumstances both may be applied to the same situation.The outbreak of violence within the territory of a State is, of course, the obvious example of such simultaneous applicability of rules upholding human rights and the international humanitarian law governing non-international armed conflict.[5 ]

Without attempting to settle once and for all the sometimes esoteric discussion about the relationship between human rights law and international humanitarian law, we are on safe ground with the view that, in the practice of the United Nations, various UN bodies deal routinely with questions relating to international humanitarian law. The origin of this practice, and certainly its most conspicuous expression, is probably Resolution XXIII of the International Conference on Human Rights (Tehran, 1968), which became General Assembly Resolution 2444 ((XXIII)), of 19 December 1968. Under the title " Respect for human rights in armed conflicts " , that resolution codified basic humanitarian principles applicab le in all forms of armed conflict, and at the same time gave decisive impetus to the process which eventually lead to the adoption, in 1977, of the two Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions.[6 ] Closer to our time are the various resolutions of the UN General Assembly calling on States to become party to the 1977 Protocols [7 ] . In his adress to the International Conference for the Protection of War Victims (Geneva 1993) the UN Secretary-General stressed the role of his Organization in heightening the effectiveness of international humanitarian law and identified three forms of action: standard-setting, diplomatic and jurisdictional. [8 ] And in his most recent annual report the Secretary-General referred as a matter of course to international humanitarian law as one of the tasks which the UN Office of Legal Affairs had to shoulder.[9 ] On a more political level, the following developments deserve mention. In An Agenda  for Peace, the UN Secretary-General extensively discussed the need for an " integrated approach to human security " and emphasized the necessary commitment of the United Nations'human rights system to the achievement of a peaceful order.[10 ] The General Assembly took the matter up in its 1992 session and adopted a resolution entitled " An Agenda for Peace: preventive policy and related matters " , with the following preamble paragraph:

Emphasizing that international peace and security must be seen in an integrated manner and that the efforts of the Organization to build peace, justice, stability and security must encompass not only military matters, but also, through its various organs within their respective areas of competence, relevant political, economic, social, humanitarian, environmental and developmental aspects. [11 ]

This statement reveals the clear intention of the UN's highest body to include humanitarian considerations in its approach to safeguarding or restoring international peace and security. True, the word " humanitarian " in the resolution should not be understood in a technical sense. But the wider meaning of " humanitarian " includes the narrower, technical one, as used in " international humanitarian law " . Furthermore, it should not be overlooked that resolution 47/120 A does not assign any new powers to the General Assembly, the Security Council or the Secretary-General. It is an expression of the General Assembly's determination, among other things, to give more weight to humanitarian matters when dealing with issues of international peace and security.

So much for the jurisdiction of the United Nations in humanitarian law matters, as reflected by the Charter and the Organization's practice. Has current international humanitarian law anything to say on the United Nations'responsibility with regard to it? Suffice it to recall that the 1949 Geneva Conventions do not mention the United Nations. Protocol I, on the other hand, refers to the UN in its Part V ( " Execution of the Conventions and of this Protocol " ). According to Article 89, where there have been serious violations of the Geneva Conventions or Protocol I, the States party to those treaties must undertake " to act, jointly or individually, in cooperation with the United Nations and in conformity with the United Nations Charter. " Article 89 is but an expression of the erga omnes character of international humanitarian law [12 " ] and, correspondingly, of the undertaking by all States party to the Geneva treaties not only to respect their own commitment but also " to ensure respect for the [Conventions/Protocols ] in all circumstances " .[13 ] In its Final Declaration, the International Conference for the Protection of War Victims (Geneva 1993) took up the idea of Article 89 and stressed the obligation of the participating States to act in cooperation with the UN and in conformity with the UN Charter to ensure full compliance with international humanitarian law in the event of genocide and other serious violations of this [i.e. international humanitarian ] law.[14 ]

It is, nevertheless interesting to note that the subsequent meeting of governmental experts did not recommend giving the United Nations the task of convening " periodical meetings of the State Parties to the 1949 Geneva Conventions to consider general problems regarding the application of international humanitarian law, " but asked the depository, the Swiss Government, to do so.[15 ] This recommendation still remains to be adopted by the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, to be held in Geneva from 3 to 7 December 1995.

At this juncture we may safely conclude that the power of the United Nations to deal with matters of international humanitarian law is undisputed, in theory as well as in practice. Moreover, it appears that the ICRC never had any difficulty in accepting this.

A brief look from an ICRC perspective at the practice of various UN bodies in the realm of international humanitarian law  

It may be useful to distinguish three ways in which various UN bodies have been called upon to work for a strengthening of international humanitarian law:

- reaffirmation and progressive codification of international humanitarian law (standard-setting),

- ensuring prosecution and punishment of persons who have committed serious violations of that law, and

- increasing respect on the part of parties to specific conflicts for their obligations under international humanitarian law (humanitarian diplomacy).

We understand humanitarian policy as covering all activities designed to achieve full compliance with international humanitarian law by parties to an armed conflict, in other words " action in support of international humanitarian law. " [16 ] We propose to proceed by examining the role played by the following organs or bodies of the Organization: the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Human Rights Commission with its Subcommission and its special rapporteurs, the Secretary General and ad hoc conferences of State representatives. All references to specific conflicts must be understood as examples; no exhaustive enumeration of all cases containing elements of humanitarian law is intended.[17 ] For practical reasons, we will discuss separately the ICRC's perception of the UN's role in the codifying international humanitarian law and its attitude toward the establishment of international criminal tribunals.

Codification of international humanitarian law  

" War having been outlawed, the regulation of its conduct has ceased to be relevant. " [18 ] With that statement of (with the benefit of hindsight) rather surprising and naive optimism, the International Law Commission of the United Nations refused in 1949 to make any effort to modernize the laws of war. The decision was taken that codification of international humanitarian law should not be pursued within the Organization, and the UN thus opted out of an important chapter of international law. The ICRC, on the other hand, was prepared to carry on its traditional role of working for the development of international humanitarian law, pursuant to its mandate under the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.[19 ] The preparatory work for the 1949 Geneva Conventions was entirely undertaken by the ICRC itself or by experts acting under its auspices.[20 ] The drafts were subsequently discussed by the International Red Cross Conference, sitting in Stockholm in 1948. It was only after the end of this preparatory phase that the Swiss Government, as depository of the Geneva Conventions, convened a diplomatic conference of State representatives.The UN Secretary-General was invited to attend the Conference as an observer. His representatives did not play an important role in the process. Under these circumstances, no question arose for the ICRC regarding a possible UN role in drafting of 1949 Ge neva Conventions.

The history of the two Additional Protocols of 1977 is slightly different, insofar as the United Nations played a much more active role in the codification process.[21 ] Two reports drawn up by the UN Secretary-General at the request of the General Assembly [22 ] had a major influence on the process which eventually lead to the adoption of the two treaties.[23 ] The preparation of the drafts for the new treaties was, however, exclusively in the hands of the ICRC, while the Diplomatic Conference was again convened and organized by the Swiss authorities. However, the UN closely followed the work in Geneva and each year the General Assembly adopted a resolution on the subject.[24 ] Despite this increased UN involvement in the law-making process, the ICRC considers the 1977 Protocols very much as'its'treaties.

There are a few international treaties created entirely within the UN system which are close to international humanitarian law. Some of them traditionally belong to the category of disarmament treaties, such as the ENMOD Treaty[25 ] or the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.[26 ]  The ICRC has unreservedly welcomed the adoption of these treaties, all of which cover matters which go far beyond its own expertise.

The 1980 Conventional Weapons Convention is a slightly different case.[27 ] That treaty is actually a by-product of the 1974-1977 Diplomatic Conference convened to negotiate the Additional Protocols. That Conference, however, after laying the groundwork for new rules to be drawn up, decided to have the issue transferred to the United Nations.[28 ] After the adoption of the Conventional Weapons Convention on 10 October 1980, however, the UN system showed little interest in the new treaty. It was again the ICRC which took the initiative in preparing the adoption of new rules by a review conference, particularly rules on anti-personel landmines and on blinding weapons [29 ] . Several preparatory meetings were organized by the ICRC in Geneva, with the participation of experts selected by the International Committee.[30 ] Despite the review conference itself taking place as a UN forum, ICRC representatives were in a position to take an active part in its work, though probably less than if the review conferences were held under the auspices of the ICRC itself or of the Swiss Government.

In recent times the ICRC has also pursued various projects which, though not aimed at drafting a new treaty, nevertheless form part of a'standard-setting'activity. Its legal experts greatly influenced the drafting of a manual on naval warfare.[31 ] By restating the law, this manual is meant to influence practice without suggesting the negotiation of a formal treaty. The ICRC was also instrumental in drafting the more important standards for the protection of the environment in time of war and submitted them to the UN to be forwarded to the member States.[32 ] Finally, the ICRC decided to consult government and UN experts with a view to clarifying which parts of international humanitarian law apply to the use of military force in peace operations under United Nations auspices.[33 ]

To conclude on this point it can be said that the ICRC has always played and continues to play an active part in codifying international humanitarian law. It can be assumed that this situation corresponds to the wishes of the community of States. If that were not or no longer the case, the UN would no doubt already have taken over the task of law-making in this field. The reason for this unique arrangement is probably the conviction that the ICRC is capable of ensuring an atmosphere conducive to the creation of new law for a particularly sensitive domain: humanity in warfare. And its expertise in humanitarian issues arising from armed conflict seems to be generally recognized. For its part, the ICRC intends to continue to w ork towards further codification, in the search of new and better law to protect victims of warfare.

International criminal tribunals established by the United Nations

The purpose of the two criminal courts established recently by the Security Council one for the former Yugoslavia[34 ] and the other for Rwanda[35 ] - is to prosecute persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law in the armed conflicts in those countries. Though it would prefer to see a permanent tribunal in lieu of ad hoc courts, the ICRC nevertheless fully supports these measures and welcomes the activity of the two tribunals. This is basically for two reasons. Firstly, penal sanctions against persons who have committed serious violations of humanitarian law, in too many cases atrocious crimes against defenceless civilians, strengthen the laws credibility. Victims of future conflicts may benefit from stronger law and from determined enforcement of that law. Impunity for the perpetrators, on the other hand, is an expression of the low esteem enjoyed by law. Secondly, punishing those who have committed crimes in the course of a conflict, particularly a civil war, will help to build people's confidence in the determination of the new order and the new authorities to ensure the rule of law. This contributes to peace and may, for example, encourage refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes.

While welcoming the role of the two ad hoc tribunals and the establishment of a standing international penal tribunal, the ICRC has always made it clear that its own activities in behalf of the victims of armed conflicts must remain separate from the judicial functions of the courts. The ICRC is of the opinio n that its delegates should not be asked to testify about confidential matters, a position which has been communicated to the respective tribunals.

Humanitarian policy and the United Nations  

General Assembly  

In the past the United Nations General Assembly was not very often confronted with issues relating to international humanitarian law.There was,however, the above-mentioned landmark adoption in 1968 of resolution 2444 (XXIII), under the title " Respect for human rights in armed conflicts " .[36 ] That resolution set out three basic principles which, in the General Assembly's view, must guide any future codification of international humanitarian law: the limited right of belligerents to choose methods and means of combat, the prohibition of attacks on the civilian population and the principle of distinction between combatants and non-combatants.[37 ] Resolution 2444 (XXIII)) also marks the starting point for the process of drawing up the two 1977 Protocols.

During the same session of 1968, the General Assembly adopted another resolution of great import for humanitarian policy, this time regarding a specific situation to which the Geneva Conventions apply: the conflict in the Middle East. Through resolution 2443 ((XXIII)) the General Assembly established the " Special Committee to investigate Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the population of the occupied territories,[38 ] - a clear humanitarian law issue, despite the reference to human rights. At that time ICRC delegates were active in the territories occupied by Israel, monitoring the Fourth Geneva Convention with its rules on occupied territories.[39 ] The question therefore arose of how to reconcile the ICRC's role in Israel and the occupied territories with the fact-finding task of a body set up by the United Nations. An answer was quickly found: the International Committee did not cooperate with the UN Committee, and no findings with regard to respect for international humanitarian law by the occupying power were exchanged.This approach to UN fact-finding missions continues today.

Resolution 2443 (XXIII) is the first in a long series of resolutions on the Arab territories occupied by Israel. Let us look at one more, which is of special relevance to the practice of international humanitarian law. With Resolution 45/69 of 6 December 1990, " The uprising (intifadah) of the Palestinian People " , the General Assembly not only requested the occupying power to respect its commitments under the Fourth Geneva Convention, but also appealed to all States " to ensure respect by Israel, the occupying power, for the Convention in all circumstances " - a reference to Article 1 common to the various Geneva treaties.[40 ] With Article 1, the States party to the four 1949 Geneva Conventions and to their 1977 Protocols have, of course, already undertaken " to respect and to ensure respect " in all circumstances for the treaties by which they are bound.[41 ] The ICRC had repeatedly appealed to States to exercise their influence on the parties to the Middle East conflict. It therefore unreservedly welcomed the step taken by the General Assembly to remind States of their residual duty to work for compliance with humanitarian norms by parties to an armed conflict. In short, the ICRC considered the General Assembly's appeal to all States party to the Geneva Conventions to shoulder their collective responsibility as an important contribution to humanitarian policy.

Since the early 1970s, the General Assembly has also addressed other specific conflicts such as those in Afghanistan[42 ] and in El Salvador,[43 ] calling upon the warring parties to comply with the applicable rules of international humanitarian law. As long as the ICRC was not allowed to work in Afghanistan, concerns expressed by the United Nations on violations of international humanitarian law there were particularly necessary. However, with the Cold War and the East-West stalemate over, discussion on specific conflicts returned to where it actually belongs, i.e. the Security Council.

Another event deserves further comment. Acting on a French proposal, the General Assembly adopted three subsequent resolutions under the heading " Humanitarian assistance to victims of natural disasters and similar emergency situations " .[44 ] In this context " similar emergency situations " also covers non-international armed conflicts, to which humanitarian law is applicable. " [45 ] The outcome of the debate was somewhat disappointing as it did little to resolve the tension between the concept of limitless sovereignty, on the one hand, and the interests of war victims in need of humanitarian assistance on the other.

Finally, since 1977 the General Assembly has regularly appealed to States to become party to humanitarian treaties which they have not yet formally accepted, in particular to the most recent codification, the two Additional Protocols of 1977.[46 ] The biennial discussion in the Sixth Committee of the state of ratification of the Additional Protocols, followed by the adoption of a resolution by the Committee and the General Assembly, has always been a welcome opportunity to remind governments of possible unfinished business. The ICRC has supported these initiatives and regularly taken the floor during the debate in the Sixth Committee to describe the state of ratification of the 1977 Protocols and the prospects for acceptance by other States. This is another example of smooth cooperation between the organization in New York and the International Committee.

Security Council  

If confronted with a conflict threatening international peace and security, the Security Council will focus its attention on the causes of the conflict and will work to find ways to resolve the underlying dispute. Quite understandably, the Council will pay less attention to issues related to ius in belle, i.e. problems which arise as a result of the conflict. Its primary mandate is to do away with the conflict itself. However, recent events have given the Security Council ample opportunity to meet its responsibility for ensuring compliance with international humanitarian law by the parties to an armed conflict. I have selected several cases as examples for a brief discussion. They are all from the recent past. Some are particularly important illustrations of the Council's involvement in promoting international humanitarian law. Others are mentioned because they have caused the ICRC difficulty.

a) War between Iran and Iraq

On 20 July 1987 the Security Council adopted resolution 598 which set the conditions for an end to the armed conflict between Iraq and Iran. Though it took some time for both parties to accept the text, the cease-fire came into effect on 20 August 1988. The core of the resolution enumerates three measures to be taken by both sides after the cease-fire: withdrawal of the armed forces to the internationally recognized borders, verification of cease-fire and troop withdrawal by UN observers and repatriation of prisoners of war.[47 ] The question at once arose whether this made clear the order in which these three measures had to be taken, or whether the two parties had to take all three of them simultaneously. The parties quarrelled for two years while a helpless ICRC stood by, unable to accomplish its mandate under the POW Convention. From the poi nt of view of international humanitarian law, the situation was absolutely clear: POWs must imperatively be repatriated " without delay after the cessation of active hostilities. " [48 ] Their repatriation may under no circumstances be linked to the fulfilment of any other condition than the end of active hostilities. At the time of writing a number of POWs captured during the Iran/Iraq conflict are still waiting to return to their country.[49 ]

Thus, with a probably unintended lack of care in drafting a resolution, the Security Council established an additional obstacle to resolving the humanitarian issues remaining after the end of the hostilities between Iran and Iraq. Needless to say, the ICRC was upset about this and concluded that more efforts must be undertaken to make diplomats and UN officials better aware of the intricacies of the Geneva Conventions. Therefore, the ICRC now periodically organizes courses on international humanitarian law for diplomats, in New York and Geneva, in conjunction with academic institutions.

b) Gulf War of 1990/91 and its aftermath[50 ]

It was mainly the 1990/91 Gulf War that aroused the Security Council's interest in international humanitarian law. At the beginning of the conflict, however, the Council was slow to recognize the relevance of the Geneva Conventions to the military operations triggered by the Iraqi aggression against Kuwait. Indeed, the first resolutions passed by the Security Council concerning the events which lead to the occupation of Kuwait did not mention international humanitarian law at all. This is distressing and rather hard to understand because the Iraqi aggression and the occupation of Kuwait constituted a clear case of belligerence. That international humanitarian law was applicable to the situation was beyond any doubt.[51 ] Only six weeks later did the Security Council for the first time refer to the Fourth Geneva Convention, in connection with the plight of third-State nationals being held by Iraq.[52 ]

Resolution 670 of 25 September 1990 called upon Iraq to respect its international humanitarian obligations in occupied Kuwait. However, when the Security Council, in Resolution 678 of 29 November 1990, authorized member States to use " all necessary means " , i.e. including military force, to liberate Kuwait, the resolution again did not mention the Geneva Conventions or international humanitarian law. That is to say, the Security Council quite simply failed to remind the States about to take part in the military operations against Iraq of their obligations under international humanitarian law. This omission is regrettable indeed, not so much because it might have given rise to doubts about that law's applicability to the events (there were none), but much more because of the Security Council's failure to express its concern for the cause of international humanitarian law. The Council missed a golden opportunity to demonstrate its support for the promotion and implementation of that body of law. The ICRC, for its part, sent a memorandum to all States party to the Geneva Conventions, and thereby to all potential participants in a future military operation to liberate Kuwait, and reminded them of their obligation to respect relevant parts of international humanitarian law. Thus the ICRC stepped into the breach left open by a careless Security Council.[53 ]

Having referred to the Security Council's sins of omission, I hasten to add that international humanitarian law was not absent from the Council's deliberations and decisions regarding the Gulf crisis. Many resolutions implicitly recall obligations under international humanitarian law, though without making any reference to the relevant treaties. A striking example is the various resolutions on economic sanctions against Iraq.[54 ] Any decision by the Security Council to impose economic sanctions in the course of an armed conflict has to be in conformity with international humanitarian law, in particular with the provisions on relief for needy civilians as set out by the Fourth Geneva Convention and, if applicable, by Additional Protocol I.[55 ] Therefore, economic sanctions have to allow for exceptions on humanitarian grounds, the so-called " humanitarian exceptions " . The sanctions regime set up by the Security Council against Iraq does provide for such exceptions, allowing relief consignments to reach particularly vulnerable people there. The Council acted in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention, but without referring to that treaty and its provisions on relief for the civilian population. Again, to name the source of the obligations would have   further enhanced the status of the humanitarian conventions.

It may be interesting briefly to examine how the ICRC has coped with the economic sanctions against Iraq. In the view of the ICRC, the embargo has not affected its international mandate to work for the protection and assistance of persons covered by the Fourth Geneva Convention.[56 ] Nor did the Security Council and the Sanctions Committee set up by the Council to administer the embargo ever express any doubt about on that point. While not accepting any obligation to ask the Sanctions Committee for permits to import humanitarian relief supplies into Iraq, the ICRC has adopted a policy of full transparency, and has always informed the Committee in New York of intended relief shipments. As a result of this open approach, the ICRC has never had to accept objections by the Sanctions Committee, although from time to time difficult cases have had to be settled. From a strictly operational point of view, the sanctions regime had the immediate effect of placing additional constraints o n the ICRC's activities to help the Iraqi population. These additional difficulties are primarily of a bureaucratic nature. In a future embargo regime the relief operations run by the ICRC should be entirely exempted from direct control by the Security Council.

These brief remarks on the embargo's impact on ICRC activities in Iraq must under no circumstances be understood as a judgement on the embargo and its impact on the situation of the primary victims, the civilian population.In my view, the problem is that the " humanitarian exceptions " as provided for by the Geneva Conventions[57 ] may be adequate for ongoing conflicts and for a limited time-span. The existing norms are, however, hardly sufficient to safeguard the legitimate interests of the civilian population in a situation of long-lasting sanctions.

The comprehensive "cease-fire resolution" adopted by the Security Council in April 1991 dealt extensively with humanitarian law matters without, however, making any reference to applicable humanitarian law.[58 ] The following issues of humanitarian concern were dealt with by that resolution: repatriating Kuwaiti citizens to Kuwait, confirming the economic sanctions against Iraq and the question of compensation for losses and damage as a result of Iraq's aggression against Kuwait. The latter includes the call for compensation for damage or losses caused by violations of international humanitarian law, a highly commendable initiative.[59 ] Resolution 687 also invites the ICRC " to keep the Secretary-General appraised as appropriate " of the progress made in the repatriation of Kuwaiti citizens. This sounds like an instruction, an injunction addressed to the ICRC to report to the UN on its activities in Kuwait. But ICRC did not understand it that way and saw no reason to object to that part of Resolution 687. The Secretary-General was given the require d information, none of which were confidential in any case and all of which were made public.

In the aftermath of the military confrontation between the Coalition forces and Iraq, the Security Council had to deal with the tragedies unfolding both in northern Iraq and in the south of the country. Again without naming the Conventions, resolution 688 of 5 April 1991 set out the conditions for international assistance to the Kurds and the Shi'ites, an eminently humanitarian endeavour. Resolution 688 is naturally of paramount importance for humanitarian diplomacy, as the Security Council has given itself the authority to act under Chapter VII of the Charter in a situation which is basically internal in nature.

Since the cease-fire took hold in the Gulf, the ICRC has continued to be involved in the aftermath of the conflict. At the time of writing, satisfactory solutions to several issues of humanitarian concern have still to be found.

c) Armed conflict on the territory of the former Yugoslavia[60 ]

As far back as 1991, the Security Council expressed its concern about the situation in humanitarian terms in the former Yugoslavia and encouraged the Secretary-General to pursue his efforts in liaison with the ICRC, the UNHCR, UNICEF and other humanitarian organizations[61 ] However, only a year later the Council referred explicitly to " international humanitarian law and in particular to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 " , which all the warring parties were bound to respect.[62 ] The ICRC again stepped into the breach and appealed repeatedly and in various forms to the parties to the conflict on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, asking them to respect international humanitarian law.[63 ]

After declaring an arms embargo in 1991,[64 ] the Security Council decided in May 1992 to impose economic sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.[65 ]  While making no reference to the relevant provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the resolution nevertheless provides for the required exceptions to the embargo in favour of particularly vulnerable groups, and thus complies with international law. As in the Gulf War, the ICRC has continued to organize relief operations for the benefit of persons in need, according to the standards laid down by the Geneva Conventions.[66 ]  Problems with the sanctions regime have arisen mainly at the level of bureaucratic procedures, which have sometimes caused delays in carrying out relief operations.

Though not in a systematic manner, other resolutions regarding the armed conflict on the territory of former Yugoslavia have also referred to humanitarian law matters. Such as the following: serious violations of international humanitarian law, for example direct military attacks against the civilian population and the displacement of civilians (including " ethnic cleansing " ); the establishment of " safety zones " or " UN Protected Areas " ; the obligation to allow ICRC personnel free access to persons in need; matters relating to the delivery of humanitarian assistance. With respect to the concept of the UN Protected Areas in Bosnia-Herzegovina the ICRC has always been of the opinion that these zones may not be put on the same footing as the various zones and localities which accord special protection under the Geneva Conventions or Additional Protocol I. The latter are based on consent by all the parties concerned and may not be defended, while the zones in Bosnia have been decided by the Security Council and imposed on the various parties.[67 ] They were rather an instrument of peacekeeping than a measure provided for by international humanitarian law.

A recent example of a resolution involving the ICRC are the measures decided by the Security Council in response to military action by Croatian forces in the Krajina during the summer of 1995.[68 ] In addition to condemning violations of international humanitarian law perpetrated during those operations and requesting free access for ICRC delegates to detained persons, the resolution also called on the Croatian authorities to respect the rights of the local Serb population. UNPROFOR was given the task of monitoring compliance with obligations arising from human rights commitments. The Security Council thereby established a direct link between international protection under humanitarian law, which was applicable to the situation in the Krajina, and legal protection outside armed conflict, under human rights law.

The statement by the President of the Security Council of 12 October 1995 on the cease-fire agreement for Bosnia-Herzegovina is another example of measures taken by the Security Council which have an impact on ICRC's activities. In that statement the Council demands that the ICRC be given free access to all parts of the region and that its delegates be authorized to visit persons held in detention.

In view of such references made by Security Council resolutions to the ICRC and its activities the question may be asked whether the ICRC likes such statements, statements which might be construed as the ICRC being given instructions by the Security Council on what it had to do in connection with a specific conflict. I am not aware of any instance in which the Security Council ever attempted to give such instructions and thereby to subordinate the Committee in Geneva to its authority. These resolutions have to be understood much more as appeals - welcome appeals - to the parties to an armed conflict to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, including obligations toward the ICRC and its delegates.

d) Rwanda

In its dealing with the unfolding tragedy in Rwanda the Security Council appealed several times to the parties in the civil war to respect international humanitarian law.[69 ] In its own way the ICRC did the same. As I write the ICRC is continuing to run an extensive humanitarian program in that war-torn country, including medical assistance, tracing of missing persons and visits to prisons. The sheer magnitude of the task has obliged the various UN bodies and the ICRC to establish procedures for coordinating their activities. A new situation arose when the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights decided to dispatch to Rwanda a team of field observers for human rights matters. Adequate forms of cooperation respecting the complementarity of the two organizations' mandates had to be devised for that as well.

Human Rights Commission, Subcommission and special rapporteurs  

By setting up the Human Rights Commission, the United Nations has established a body with a specific mandate to work in the vast field of protecting human rights. The Commission and its Subcommission[70 ] have often referred to international humanitarian law, although their terms of reference are confined exclusively to human rights law. However, as the scope of applicability of human rights law and of international humanitarian law overlap, in particular regarding situations of violence within the territory of a single State, human rights bodies may feel compelled to examine such situations from the point of view of humanitarian law as well. The Commission has done so in a number of situations, such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon. It has also repeatedly dealt with the " human rights " of the Palestinian population in the Arab territories occupied by Israel, although in this case international humanitarian law clearly takes precedence over human rights considerations. There is, however, no doubt that debates in the Human Rights Commission, which also touch upon international humanitarian law, may help to strengthen awareness of that body of law and thus help promote it. The ICRC closely follows the work of the UN Human Rights Commission, while maintaining full independence from that body. In particular, the ICRC exchanges no confidential information with the Commission.

The Human Rights Commission sometimes appoints a special rapporteur, asking him to examine the human rights situation in a specific country or region and to report to the Commission on his findings. This is a form of fact-finding. Special rapporteurs have been named for many countries to which international humanitarian law applied or still applies, such as Afghanistan, El Salvador, occupied Kuwait,[71 ] the territories occupied by Israel and Rwanda. The dramatic action taken by the special rapporteur for the former Yugoslavia, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, when he resigned from his post in protest over the UN's alleged inaction on his recommendations concerning the safe areas, has not yet been forgotten.[72 ]

The findings of these rapporteurs usually also encompass compliance with international humanitarian law, where applicable. This is always the case in countries affected by violence that reaches the threshold of Article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions. However the report prepared by Walter Kälin, the special rapporteur on the human rights situation in occupied Kuwait is particularly interesting.[73 ]  Kälin examines the situation in occupied Kuwait from the perspective of both human rights law and international humanitarian law. In his view, such cumulative application is capable of strengthening the protection of the individual by international law.[74 ] He may be right. Needless to say that the ICRC does not cooperate with special rapporteurs named by the UN Human Rights Commission or by other bodies. Complete independence from each other is essential for the success of our respective missions and there must be no doubt about that independence.

United Nations Secretary-General  

According to the Charter, the Secretary-General may be instructed by the General Assembly or by the Security Council to examine a given situation or to undertake specific action.[75 ] Such a mandate usually consists in establishing the facts (fact-finding). And the Secretary-General may on his own initiative bring to the attention of the Security Council " any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.[76 ] The Secretary-General may designate special representatives to carry out that mission. Again, and for the reasons stated above, the ICRC does not seek cooperation with the Secretary-General's envoys.

Ad hoc conferences of state representatives

In the course of a debate in 1990 on the situation in the territories occupied by Israel, the Security Council decided to request the Secretary-General, " in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross, to develop further the idea ... of convening a meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the [Fourth ] Geneva Convention to discuss possible measures that might be taken by them under the Convention. " [77 ] In plain language this means that the meeting should examine alleged violationsof the Fourth Geneva Conventions committed by Israel in the occupied territories, and that it should consider possible measures to be taken at the international level to stop such violations. The proposal never materialized, probably because priority was given to the peace process in the Middle East, which at that moment had started to produce its first timid results.[78 ] The ICRC was therefore not obliged to determine what attitude it would adopt toward that initiative.

Concluding observations  

This overview of the United Nations'involvement in promoting and implementing international humanitarian law makes no claim to be complete. But despite the sketchy character of this study, a clear conclusion can be drawn: the United Nations system not only views itself as concerned by international humanitarian law, but its various bodies have, in fact, become quite active, promoting the law itself and strengthening its implementation. It appears that such active involvement has grown over the years. At its fiftieth anniversary the UN is more heavily engaged in matters relating to international humanitarian law than it was at its twenty-fifth or its tenth anniversary.

The various UN bodies have contributed to humanitarian policy in different ways: - statements on the applicability of international humanitarian law to specific conflicts; - general appeals (i.e. not related to a specific violation of a treaty provision) addressed to warring parties asking them to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law;

- references to international humanitarian law in Security Council resolutions on economic sanctions;

- fact-finding in cases of alleged violations of international humanitarian law;

- statements in the event of specific vi olations of international humanitarian law;

- appeals to third States for action to bring a belligerent to respect its obligations under humanitarian law ( " to ensure respect " ).

Practice shows the Organization's willingness to take such action not only in

connection with international but also non-international armed conflicts.

The United Nations'increased interest in international humanitarian law is a welcome development. Indeed, though humanitarian in its aim and non-political in its substance, humanitarian law needs the support of political institutions in order to be fully accepted and complied with by States and other parties to armed conflict. As the paramount and truly universal institution, the UN is a unique international platform for expressing the concerns of the victims and also concern for the victims of armed conflict.

The ICRC does not seem disturbed by this growing interest on the part of the United Nations in humanitarian matters. It actually welcomes it. But this new situation calls for some form of cooperation between the ICRC and the United Nations system. The ICRC's request for the observer status at the UN General Assembly was an expression of that determination to seek cooperation.[79 ] Since obtaining that status in 1991, the President of the ICRC has regularly addressed the General Assembly on humanitarian matters. Working relations have been established between various UN bodies and the ICRC. The ICRC is clearly on record as calling and working for effective coordination of humanitarian assistance to the victims of armed conflict. Complementarity and transparency in the activities of the different organizations are the keys to success.[80 ] The ICRC will, however, always insist on its independence, including its financial independence. While individual relief operations involving the UN often confront the ICRC with major difficulties, progress toward better mutual understanding has undeniably been made.

The ICRC does not seem to share the opinion that the UN's involvement with international humanitarian law must necessarily and as such lead to unacceptable politicisation of the humanitarian cause in general and of humanitarian law in particular.[81 ] On the contrary, the International Committee seems to place great hope in the United Nations'role of actually resolving underlying conflicts - the real cause of all such tragedies. Furthermore, the United Nations is uniquely qualified to persuade warring parties to respect their humanitarian commitments. It thereby acts in line with Article I common to the four Geneva Conventions, with that provision's obligation for all States party to the Conventions to ensure compliance with humanitarian law. As the supreme political body in the present world order, only the UN can authoritatively require States to behave in a way which is consistent with the Charter, with international law in general and international humanitarian law in particular.

In other words, the United Nations'involvement in humanitarian matters must not necessarily jeopardize the ICRC's independence or its ability to assume its humanitarian activities in full neutrality and impartiality. But one condition must be observed, and that is that the United Nations, in particular the Security Council, the Secretariat and the various operational agencies, must respect their proper roles and leave the specifically humanitarian activities to those who are willing and able to guara ntee that they are carried out in strict neutrality and impartiality. As the President of the ICRC said in his address to the 49th session of the UN General Assembly in 1994,

the parties to a conflict must be able to perceive the neutral and impartial character of humanitarian action if it is to be accepted. ... The humanitarian agencies expect political leaders, States, the United Nations and regional organizations to make their task easier, without actually doing the work that has been entrusted to them.[82 ]

If that happens, the ICRC should be in a position to carry out its mission, even in a framework increasingly determined by United Nations.



1. UN Charter, Articles 1, para. 1, and 24, para. 1.

2. UN Charter, Article 24, para. 2.

3. UN Charter, Articles 1, para. 3. See also Article 55, subpara. c.

4. UNGA resolution 2444 (XXIII), of 19 December 1968, untitled " Respect for human rights in armed conflicts " .

5. See H.-P. Gasser, " International Humanitarian Law, " in H. Haug, Humanity for  all, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Beme/Stuttgart/Vienna 1993, pp. 507/8. With basically the same approach: T. Meron, Human rights in  internal strife: their international protection, Cambridge 1987, p. 28; L. Doswald-Beck and S. Vité, " International humanitarian law and human rights law, " International Review of the Red Cross 1993, pp. 94-119; and W. Kälin, Human rights  in time of occupation: the case of Kuwait, Berne 1994, pp. 26-28.

6. Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflict (Protocol I), and Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflict (Protocol II). See Y. Sandoz, C. Swinarski, B. Zimmermann (eds.), Commentary on the Additional Protocols of June  1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, Geneva 1987, p. xxx.

7. The most recent is UNGA resolution 49/48 of 9 December 1994, entitled " Status of the Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the Protection of Victims of Armed Conflicts " .

8. " International Conference for the Protection of War Victims (Geneva 1993), Final Declaration", International Review of the Red Cross, 1993, pp. 377-381. Summary of the address by the Secretary-General on p. 372.

9. The main issues being the conflicts on the territory of former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda, including the two International Criminal Tribunals. Report of the  Secretary-General on the work of the Organization, August 1995, p. 15 (paras. 103-106), UN Doc. A/50/1.

10. An agenda for peace, preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peace-keeping, report by the Secretary-General of 31 January 1992, UN Doc. A/47/277-S/241 I 1, paras. 16 and 18. Also published as a separate brochure by the United Nations, 2nd ed. 1995.

11. An agenda for peace: preventive diplomacy and related matters, A/RES/47/120 A 1992), 6th preamble paragraph (my emphasis).

12. D. Schindler, " Die erga omnes-Wirkung des humanitären Volkerrechts " , in U. Beyerlin, M. Bothe, R. Hofmann, E.-U. Petermann (eds.), Recht zwischen Umbruch  und Bewahrung - Festschrift für Rudolf Bernhardt, Heidelberg 1995, p. 2 00.

13. Article I common to the four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 for the Protection of War Victims, and to Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), of 8 June 1977. - L. Condorelli and L. Boisson de Chazournes, " Quelques remarques à propos de I'obligation des Etats de " respecter et faire respecter " le droit international humanitaire " en toutes circonstances "', in Ch. Swinarski (ed.), Studies and  Essays in honour of Jean Pictet, Geneva-The Hague 1984, pp. 17-35; and H.P. Gasser, " Ensuring respect for the Geneva Conventions and Protocols: the role of third States and the United Nations " , in H. Fox and M.A. Meyer (eds.), Ensuring Compliance, London 1993, pp. 15-49, in particular pp. 24-33.

14. International Conference for the Protection of War Victims (Geneva 1993), Final Declaration, para. I. 6., supra note 8, p. 378.

15. Meeting of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts (Geneva 1995), Recommendation VII, reprinted in International Review of the Red Cross, 1995, pp. 33-38.

16. H. -P.. Gasser, " Humanitarian Policy " , Nordic Journal on Human Rights 1987, p. 10

17. For the following see in particular Th.C. van Boven, " Reliance on norms of humanitarian law by United Nations'organs " , in A.J.M. Delissen, G.J. Tanja (eds.), Humanitarian law of armed conflict - challenges ahead, Essays in honour of Frits Kalshoven, Dordrecht/Boston/London 1991, pp. 494-513; and H.-P.. Gasser, supra note 13, pp. 33-44.

18. Yearbook of the International Law Commission, 1949, p. 281.

19. See now the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement,

October 1986, Article 5, para. 2 g).

20. For the history of the 1949 Geneva Conventions see F. Bugnion, Le Comité  international de la Croix-Rouge et la protection des victimes de la guerre, Genève 1994,p.35 4.

21. id. p. 366.

22. Resolution 2444 (XXIII) of 19 December 1968, entitled " Respect for human rights in armed conflicts " .

23. UN Doe. A/7720 and A/8052. " A certain division of labour developed between the UN and the ICRC...... " , in the words of M. Bothe, K.J. Partsch, W.A. Solf, New  rules for victims of armed conflicts, Commentary on the two 1977 Additional Protocols  to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, The Hague/Boston/London 1982, p. 3.

24. Bugnion (supra note 20), p. 366, footnote 30.

25. Convention on the Prohibition of Military or any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, of 18 May 1977.

26. Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and of their Destruction, of 13 January 1993.

27. Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects, of 10 October 1980, with three protocols. Its Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby Traps and other Devices (Protocol II) is of particular interest insofar as the use of anti-personnel landmines is concerned.

28. See Y. Sandoz, " A new step forward in international law: prohibitions or restrictions on the use of certain conventional weapons " , International Review of the  Red Cross, 1981 , pp. 38.

29. Convention, supra note 27, Article 8.

30. See e.g. ICRC (ed.), Blinding Weapons, Reports of the meetings of experts  convened by the International Committee of the Red Cross on battlefield laser weapons  1989-1991, Geneva 1993; ICRC (ed.), Symposium on anti-personnel mines, Montreux (21-23 April 1993); and " Report of the International Committee of the Red Cross for the Review Conference of the 1980 United Nations Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects " , International Review of the  Red Cross, 1994, pp. 132-182.

31. L. Doswald-Beck (ed.), San Remo Manual on international law applicable to armed conflicts at sea, Cambridge 1995 (with commentary). Text of the Manual to be published by the International Review of the Red Cross, 1995 (November-December). See also L. Doswald-Beck, " The San Remo Manual on international law applicable to armed conflict at sea " , 89 AJIL 192-208 (1995).

32. H.-P.. Gasser, " For better protection of the natural environment in armed confl ict: a proposal for action " , 89 AJIL 637-644 (1995), with the text of the " Guidelines for military manuals and instructions on the protection of the environment in times of armed conflict " .

33. See ICRC (ed.), Report on the Symposium on humanitarian action and  peace-keeping operations, 1994; H.-P. Gasser, " Die Anwendbarkeit des humanitären Völkerrechts auf militärische Operationen der Vereinten Nationen " , Schweizerische  Zeitschriftfiir internationales und europäisches Recht, 443-473 (1994).

34. SC Resolution 827 (1993).

35. SC Resolution 955 (1994).

36. Supra note 4.

37. See also UNGA resolution 2675 (XXV) of 9 December 1970, entitled " Basic principles for the protection of civilian populations in armed conflicts " .

38. UNGA Resolution 2443 (XXIII) of 19 December 1968.

39. Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in particular Articles 47-78.

40. The first reference in a UN statement to the commitment by third parties " to ensure respect " of international humanitarian law appears in resolution 2851 (XXVI) of 20 December 1971.

41. Supra, note 13.

42. UNGA resolution 40/137 (1985) and subsequent resolutions, in particular resolution 43/139 (1988).

43. UNGA reso lution 43/145 (1988) and subsequent resolutions.

44. See the last text, UNGA resolution 46/182 (1991). For a concise presentation of the legal issues, see D. Schindler, " Humanitarian assistance, humanitarian interference and international law " , R.St. J. Macdonald (ed.), Essays in honour of Wang Tieya, The Hague (1993), pp. 689-701. See also R. Abi-Saab, Droit humanitaire et conflits  internes, Geneva 1986; M. Bothe, " Relief actions: the position of the recipient State " , in F. Kalshoven (ed.), Assisting the victims of armed conflicts and other disasters, Dordrecht (1989), pp. 92-97; Y. Sandoz, "'Droit'or'devoir d'ingérence'and the right to assistance: the issues involved " , International Review of the Red Cross, 1992, pp. 215-227.

45. Article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Protocol II (supra note 6).

46. See supra note 7, and H.-P. Gasser, " Universal acceptance of international humanitarian law - Promotional activities of the ICRC " , International Review of the  Red Cross, 1994, pp. 450-457.

47. SC resolution 598 (1987), paras. 1-3.

48. Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, of 12 August 1949, Article 118.

49. See the ICRC's Annual Reports from 1988 to 1994.

50. P. Rowe (ed.), The Gulf War 1990-91 in international and English Law, London 1993; and C. Girod, Tempête sur le désert, Le Comité international de la  Croix-Rouge et la Guerre du Golfe 1990-1991, Bruxelles 1994.

51. Iraq denied the existence of an armed conflict, arguing that its troops merely recovered what in any case belonged to Iraq.

52. SC resolution 666 (1990).

53. ICRC Annual Report 1990, p. 78.

54. SC resolutions 661 (1990), 666 (1990), and 687 (1991), paras. 20-29, and others. On economic sanctions and international humanitarian law see N. Schrijver, " The use of economic sanctions by the UN Security Council: an International law perspective " , and comments by V. Gowland-Debbas, H.-P. Gasser and K. Wellens, in H.H.G. Post (ed.), International economic law and armed conflict, Dordrecht/Boston/London 1994, pp. 123-182.

55. In particular Fourth Geneva Convention, Articles 23, 59 and 108/109, and Additional Protocol I, Articles 69 and 70.

56. Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 143, and Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Article 5, para. 2 c). See ICRC Annual Report 1991,

p. 103.

57. Supra note 54.

58. SC resolution 687 (1991).

59. See now Protocol I, supra note 6, Article 91.

60. On the humanitarian issues see M. Mercier, Crimes sans châtiment, L'action  humanitaire en ex-Yougoslavie, Bruxelles 1994.

61. SC resolution 724 (1991).

62. SC resolution 764 (1992).

63. See ICRC Annual Report 1991, pp. 87/88.

64. SC resolution 713 (1991).

65. SC resolution 757 (1992) and subsequent resolutions. After the Dayton (Ohio) Peace-agreement SC resolution 1022 (1995) lifted the sanctions, subject to certain conditions.

66. See the comment made in the preceding paragraph, on the Gulf War.

67. See Y. Sandoz, "'The establishment of safety zones for persons displaced within their territory of origin " , in N. Al-Nauimi, R. Meese (eds.), International legal  issues arising under the United Nations Decade of International Law, 1995, pp. 899-927.

68. SC resolution 1009 (1995).

69. SC resolution 812 (1993) and subsequent resolutions.

70. Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.

71. See the report by the special rapporteur W. Kälin, supra note 5.

72. See his final periodic report as Special Rapporteur: " Situation of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia " , of 22 Au gust 1995, E/CN.4/1996/9 (sic).

73. " Situation of human rights in occupied Kuwait " , report of 16 January 1992, E/CN.4/1992/26, reprinted in W. Kälin, supra note 5, pp. 69-138.

74. W. Kälin, supra note 5, p. 27.

75. UN Charter, Article 98. Example: SC resolution 681 (1990) regarding the situation in the territories occupied by Israel.

76. UN Charter, Article 99.

77. SC resolution 681 (1990), para. 6.

78. See H.P. Gasser, supra note 13, pp. 43/44.

79. UNGA resolution 46/182 (199 1).

80. See also van Boven, supra note 17, p. 51 1, who speaks of the " mistaken assumption that the United Nations and the ICRC are in rival positions. " Also Condorelli who sees as a result of the Gulf War the UN's increased support for international humanitarian law and its willingness to cooperate with the ICRC. L. Condorelli, " Le droit humanitaire dans la crise et la " guerre " du Golfe " , in B. Stern (ed.), Les aspects juridiques de la crise et de la guerre du Golfe, Paris 1991, p. 194.

81. In this sense J. Patrnogic, Role of the competent United Nations bodies in the  implementation of international humanitarian law, introductory comment submitted to the 18th Round Table on current problems of international humanitarian law, San Remo 1993, p. 6 (on file with the author). But see L. Doswald-Beck and S. Vité, supra note 5, pp. 117-119.

82. International Review of the Red Cross, 1995, pp. 81-86, at p. 82