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Chaper 31 the Undertaking to Respect and Ensure Respect in All Circumstances: from Tiny Seed to Ripening Fruit

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the drafting history of common Article 1 and the interpretation the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) placed upon it in its Commentary to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949. It discusses subsequent developments from the Teheran Human Rights Conference of 1968 to the adoption in 1977 of Protocol I Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the ICRC Commentary thereto. The chapter gives a brief impression of other uses or interpretations of the Article, by an interested party like the Palestinians, by an independent actor like the International Court of Justice, and by academics. It concludes that if the international community is looking for a suitable "new millennium pledge", the United Nations might consider the adoption of a solemn, moral "undertaking to respect and to ensure respect for international humanitarian law in all circumstances".

Keywords: Geneva Conventions of 1949; ICRC commentaries; International Court of Justice; international humanitarian law; Teheran Human Rights Conference of 1968



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