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Humanitarian Law Conference

Volume 931: debated on Wednesday 11 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent Conference on Humanitarian Law in Geneva.

The conference now under way in Geneva is the fourth and final session of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict which was convoked by the Swiss Government in the spring of 1974. It is due to end on 10th June.The conference is considering the draft texts of two protocols which revise and supplement the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Hague Rules of Warfare (1907). The first protocol would extend the provisions of the Geneva Conventions concerned with the protection of victims of international armed conflicts, and in particular the civilian populations. The second protocol would break new ground by establishing a code for non-international armed conflicts, which at present are covered only by the minimal provisions of Article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions. The two draft protocols were prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross in consultation with Government experts.United Kingdom experts took part in these preparatory consultations and the United Kingdom delegation has played an active rĂ´le sessions of the conference.