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A note from the Editor

31-08-1996 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 313

The Review is pleased to present accounts of the action taken by the ICRC in response to two events that shook the world in 1956, exactly forty years ago, at the height of the Cold War - the uprising against the Communist regime in Hungary and the Suez conflict in which the United Kingdom, France and Israel were ranged against Colonel Nasser's Egypt. In launching its two operations in aid of the victims of those conflicts, which took place almost simultaneously, the ICRC faced an enormous challenge, for the resources then available to it to provide protection and assistance to people affected by events on such a scale were far smaller than they are today. The author of these two texts, ICRC research officer Françoise Perret, is currently compiling a history of the ICRC covering that period.

The contribution by Kenneth Ögren on the Articles of War decreed by King Gustavus II Adolphus of Sweden in 1621 relates to a text containing humanitarian directives issued over two hundred years before present-day international humanitarian law came into being. These Articles of War remind us once again that the idea of sparing the victims of armed conflicts does not merely date back to the nineteenth century.

On a completely different subject, the article by Vincent Bernard provides useful information for National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies wishing to know more ab out any tax benefits to which they may be entitled.

As a continuation of its series of articles on various aspects of the implementation of international humanitarian law, the Review also has pleasure to publish in this issue the text of a model law on the use and protection of the red cross and red crescent emblem, with a commentary by Jean-Philippe Lavoyer. The importance of this contribution, which will be of interest to governments and National Societies alike, is self-evident.

 The Review