IRRC No. 258
German Red Cross in the Federal Republic of Germany: The efforts made by the German Red Cross in the Federal Republic of Germany to have the Additional Protocols ratified
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The German Red Cross in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) has attached great importance to the further development of international humanitarian law since the Second World War. The outcome of the Diplomatic Conference, which in 1949 led to the four Geneva Conventions, was understandably of special interest because of the situation in an occupied postwar Germany with millions of its countrymen missing or held prisoner of war. This interest was pursued after the German Red Cross in the Federal Republic and the German Red Cross of the German Democratic Republic were newly formed in 1950 and 1959. International law experts from the National Society in the FRG, in particular Walter Bargatzgy, its former President, and Dr. Anton Schlögel, the former Secretary General, not only played a key part in promoting its development at the International Conferences of the Red Cross which preceded the 1974–77 Diplomatic Conference on the reaffirmation and the development of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts but also closely followed the proceedings of that Conference and advised the Federal Republic's delegation to it. During the Diplomatic Conference, a working group composed of high-ranking officials from research and academic circles and government was formed by the National Society and still exists today. Specialists from the ICRC have regularly addressed the group.