IRRC No. 320

Persuading States to accept humanitarian treaties

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At the close of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law (Geneva, 1974–1977), the representatives of the States party to the 1949 Geneva Conventions adopted, on 8 June 1977, two Protocols additional to those Conventions. Following a preparatory period including intense negotiations that lasted for nearly ten years, the new treaties were accepted, despite considerable obstacles, by the plenipotentiaries without a vote and without opposition. Though the solutions adopted for particularly controversial problems could not always suit everyone concerned, the diplomats, legal advisers and military experts who had taken part nevertheless had every reason to return to their capitals with a feeling of satisfaction.

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