28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent – Information note
Follow up to the Resolution on Emblems (Resolution 3) of the 27th International Red Cross and Red Crescent Conference (1999) – Amendments to the Statutes and Rules of Procedure of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – Deferral of Other Business
Follow up to the Resolution on Emblems ( Resolution 3 ) of the 27th International Red Cross and Red Crescent Conference (1999)
The 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent has been convoked in consequence of a decision by the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent that exceptional circumstances required a change to the date of the Conference as established by the 27th International Conference.
The Standing Commission determined that the time was ripe to suggest the adoption of a Third Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions and consequential amendments to the Statutes of the Movement. It reached this conclusion after reviewing progress early in 2000 in the Joint Working Group established pursuant to Resolution 3 adopted by the 27thInternational Conference. The Standing Commission believes that such a Protocol, which would need to be followed by appropriate Statute amendments, will resolve the problems the Movement faces in achieving the universality it must offer to humanity at the outset of the new millennium.
The task of the 28th International Conference will, therefore, be to consider proposed amendments to the Movement’s Statutes and Rules of Procedure. It will be preceded by a Diplomatic Conference to be convened by the Swiss Government (the membership of which is the States Parties to the Geneva Conventions) which will co nsider the text of a proposed Third Additional Protocol. This text is currently the subject of consultations, but it will be dispatched to States Parties to the Geneva Conventions as soon as possible. The Standing Commission will arrange for copies also to be sent to National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, for it provides the foundation for the work to be done subsequently in the International Conference setting.
Accordingly, and for the purposes of clarity, there will be two major conferences on this subject during 2000. Both will be held in Geneva :
- the Diplomatic Conference will consider the proposed Third Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. Membership is States Parties to the Geneva Conventions. Tentative date for that Conference is already set for 25-28 October 2000.
- the International Conference (14 November 2000) will consider proposed amendments to the Movement Statutes consequential upon the adoption of the Protocol. Membership is States Parties to the Geneva Conventions, recognised National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the ICRC and the International Federation.
The Standing Commission felt that as the principal issues have been the subject of international consideration for many years they would be well known to most delegations. Nevertheless, the Standing Commission has asked the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to arrange a comprehensive program of briefings to ensure that all States Parties and National Societies are fully acquainted with the issues on the agenda.
Amendments to the Statutes and Rules of Procedure of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
The text mainly proposes amendments in paragraph 5 of Article 4 of the Statutes to allow a Society seeking recognition as a National Society to use the name and emblem specified in the Third Additional Protocol and in Article 10 paragraph 3 to specify the competence of the International Conference to recognise additional indicative emblems. The Rules of Procedures, notably Rule 19, will be changed accordingly to include the qualified majority required for such a decision of the International Conference. Some additional editorial changes required by the modification are also indicated in the draft revised Statutes. A draft of this Protocol will have been considered at a Diplomatic Conference to be held in Geneva shortly before the 28th International Conference. The draft text of the proposed Statute amendment has been drafted on the basis of a draft Protocol text prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross and presented to the first meeting of the Joint Working Group (13-14 April 2000).
Deferral of Other Business
A number of resolutions and decisions adopted at the 27th Conference called for the submission of reports on implementation or progress to the 28th Conference. In view of the fact that these issues are still within normal implementation programs, the Standing Commission has decided that the required reports should be submitted to the 29thConference. It also proposed that the 29th Conference should be held at the time previously envisaged for the 28th Conference, namely 2003.
This decision should also apply to the term of office of the elected members of the Standing Commission itself, and a draft decision to that effect will be before the Conference .