Postponement of the 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
To the Members of the 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
The Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent has informed the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies that it has decided to postpone the 28th International Conference, which was to have met in Geneva on 14November 2000. As a result, the Conference will not meet at that time and, in accordance with Rule 4 (3) of the Movement’s Rules of Procedure, the Members will be notified of the new date for the Conference at least 90 days in advance of that date.
Please find enclosed an information sheet regarding this decision.
Dr. Astrid N. Heiberg
of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Dr. Jakob Kellenberger
of the Red Cross
The 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent had been convened by the Standing Commission to meet on 14 November 2000, in the expectation that a Diplomatic Conference called by the Government of Switzerland, in its capacity as depositary for the Geneva Conventions, would have completed its work on the adoption of a new protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions. It was anticipated that the additional protocol would recognize a new distinctive emblem in addition to those already recognized by the Geneva Conventions. The International Conference would then have acted on a proposal to amend the Statutes of the Movement to bring them into line with the additional protocol.
In view of the present circumstances, the Government of Switzerland decided on 12 October 2000 to postpone the Diplomatic Conference, and informed the States party to the Geneva Conventions that it would continue its consultations with the States Parties with a view to convening the Conference for early 2001.
On 13 October 2000, the Government of Switzerland also provided the States Party to the Geneva Conventions with a draft text for a “Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions”. This text, dated 12 October 2000, emerged from the consultations conducted both under the authority of the Standing Commission (within the framework of the Joint Working Group) and, since July 2000, by Switzerland itself in its capacity as depositary. Following these consultations, which involved all the States concerned and concentrated on those most directly involved in the various issues, the text was drafted by the ICRC in close consultation with the International Federation. The draft text is enclosed for the National Society members of the International Conference and the Observers.
The ICRC and the International Federation consider that the draft text, dispatched by the Government of Switzerland as a working paper for the Diplomatic Conference, is the product of negotiations and consultations which revealed broad agreement on a number of important principles. There is strong momentum, based on the recognized need for an additional emblem, towards an additional protocol, which will hopefully be adopted by the Diplomatic Conference.
The ICRC and the International Federation are strongly committed to resolving this issue at the earliest possible date, and they encourage all members of the 28th International Conference to spare no effort to maintain their own commitment to the universality of the Movement, and to pursue their work and dialogue with the determination required to bring this process to its conclusion in early 2001.
The Standing Commission, the ICRC and the International Federation will continue their consultations with the depositary for the Geneva Conventions and other interested parties with a view to notifying the Members of the International Conference as soon as possible of the new date for the Conference.