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Marshall Islands: Move towards ratification of Geneva Conventions

19-07-2001 News Release 01/28

A one-day information seminar on the scope and content of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their 1977 Additional Protocols was held in Majuro, capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, on 5 July 2001.  The seminar was organized jointly by the ICRC's regional delegation for the Pacific and the Office of the Marshall Islands'Chief Secretary.  Participants came from all government departments concerned with the Conventions, including Members of Parliament, the Attorney-General, representatives of the judiciary, including the Chief Justice, and members of the Marshall Islands Red Cross Society, which is in the process of being formed.

Opening the seminar, the Chief Secretary, the Hon. Phillip K. Kabua, stated that current efforts " are expected to lead to ratification by the Republic of the Marshall Islands of these important humanitarian treaties in the near future " .  The Marshall Islands is one of only two States members of the United Nations or party to the Statute of the International Court of Justice which have yet to accede to the four 1949 Geneva Conventions.  Accession to the treaties is also an important step towards recognition of the country's National Society by the ICRC and its admission to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.