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Workshop marks 60 years of VN’s ratification of 1949 Geneva Conventions    
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Workshop marks 60 years of VN’s ratification of 1949 Geneva Conventions
Dec 06 2017

The Foreign Ministry and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) held a workshop in Hanoi on December 5 to mark the 60th anniversary of Vietnam’s ratification of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 on international humanitarian law (IHL).

Nguyen Minh Vu, Assistant to the Vietnamese Foreign Minister, emphasised that Vietnam’s ratification of the 1949 Geneva Conventions was an important milestone demonstrating the country’s respect for and promotion of the enforcement of the IHL in particular and international law in general.

At present, changes in the forms of armed conflicts and the strong development of science-technology, including the development of tools and weapons used in war, are posing substantial challenges to the interpretation and application of regulations of these conventions, which were drafted in the 19th century.

Therefore, the workshop also provides a platform for domestic and foreign experts to discuss the latest developments in the interpretation and application of regulations in the IHL, along with international efforts in promoting the IHL enforcement in the world, Vu said.

Beat Schweizer, head of the ICRC Regional Delegation in Bangkok, said the ICRC highly valued Vietnam’s active support for and leadership in strengthening and developing the IHL. 

The ICRC has established and maintained relations with civil and military organisations of Vietnam to enforce the Geneva Conventions, and hopes to enhance dialogue on IHL-related issues with the Vietnamese Government, he added.

At the workshop, participants shared Vietnam’s experience in implementing the Geneva Conventions of 1949 during wartime and in dealing with war consequences, raising awareness of the IHL, and stepping up the enforcement of the Geneva Conventions and other contents of the IHL.

On June 5, 1957, then President Ho Chi Minh signed a document declaring Vietnam’s joining of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. They comprise the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field; the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea; the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War; and the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

These conventions have had 196 parties, and they are among the few international treaties that have such a large number of member states and are applied around the globe.-VNA