News release

Mexico: ICRC urges Latin American and Caribbean states to reaffirm commitment to the ‘rules of war’ on 75th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions

Conferencia diplomática de revisión de la Convención de Ginebra.

Mexico City (ICRC) – In a world where millions of people are suffering from the devastating consequences of armed conflict, representatives from 16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are in Mexico City to mark the 75th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions and discuss the importance of upholding international humanitarian law (IHL) in current and future wars.

“The Geneva Conventions ensure that a minimum level of humanity is preserved even during war. At a time when public opinion is increasingly polarized, it is crucial that states reaffirm their shared commitment to humanity and make upholding international humanitarian law and respecting the humanitarian values that sustains it a political priority,” said Romina Morello, the International Committee of the Red Cross’ (ICRC) legal adviser for the Americas. “If they don’t, they will be turning their backs on those who are victims of war.”

The two-day meeting co-hosted by the ICRC and the Mexican Foreign Ministry brings together representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

The discussions, facilitated by legal experts in IHL from both the ICRC and academia, are centred around the need for greater compliance with IHL, what measures should be taken to incorporate IHL into domestic law, and contemporary challenges such as cyber and information operations, autonomous weapon systems, and the use of artificial intelligence in military operations.

The number of armed conflicts in the world has skyrocketed in the last 25 years from 20 in 1999 to over 120 today, according to ICRC records. Over those years, despite numerous international resolutions, civilians have been repeatedly attacked, displaced, and killed. As the Geneva Conventions turn 75 years old, the ICRC calls on states to do more to uphold the rules of war. This includes incorporating IHL into domestic law and making it part of both domestic and foreign policy.

“International humanitarian law was not created to justify killing, suffering and destruction,” said Olivier Dubois, the head of the ICRC’s regional delegation for Mexico and Central America. “Its main goal is to save people’s lives and protect them from harm, as well as to ensure respect for human beings even during armed conflict. That is what we must push for, defend, and carry as our banner. People caught up in armed conflicts need actions, not words.”

For more information, please contact:

Ana Olivia Langner, Publication Relations Officer for Mexico and Central America, tel: +52 5537176427, email:

Mario Cajé, Communication Officer for the Americas, tel: +556131062357, email:

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