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Red crystal becomes additional protective emblem

12-01-2007 News Release 07/03

Joint Press Release (ICRC/IFRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) welcome the entry into force on 14 January 2007 of the Third Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

The Third Protocol introduces a protective emblem called the red crystal alongside the red cross and red crescent emblems.

The adoption of the red crystal reaffirms the determination of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to consolidate its universality and thereby to enhance its strength and credibility. By offering new possibilities for protection and identification to National Societies and States that wish to use the red crystal, the Third Protocol exemplifies the Movement's commitment to neutral and independent humanitarian action. Ultimately, the goal is to improve protection for all those who need it, be they beneficiaries of humanitarian aid or persons striving to deliver it.

The Third Protocol was adopted by a large majority of States at a diplomatic conference held in December 2005 in Geneva. The 29th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which took place in June 2006, amended the Movement's statutes to incorporate the additional emblem. 

So far, 84 States have signed the Third Protocol and nine States have ratified it. The Swiss government is the depositary of the treaty.

Now the challenge will be to generate the same worldwide recognition of and respect for the red crystal as is widely afforded to the red cross and red crescent. This is a long-term task that must be pursued by the members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and by the States party to the Geneva Conventions.

  For further information, please contact:
  Antonella Notari, head of media relations,
  ICRC Geneva, tel : +41 22 730 22 82, mob : +41 79 217 32 80,
  (during the weekend, please contact on mobile phone)
  Pierre Kremer, head of media relations,   IFRC, mob : +41 79 226 48 32,
  (during the weekend, please contact on mobile phone)
  photos and downloadable graphs available