IRRC No. 320

Adoption of the 1977 Additional Protocols

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The adoption of the 1977 Protocols additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions for the protection of war victims was an event of great historic significance. In 1977 the States were convinced that developments in weaponry had made it necessary to adopt new rules of conduct in armed conflicts: methods of using conventional weapons were being perfected and the resulting casualty rates were approaching those of weapons mass destruction, affecting everyone without exception and also damaging the environment, and thus threatening the survival of entire nations. This fact persuaded the States to agree upon new rules of conduct in armed conflict.

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