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    HomeNewsGeneva Conventions 75th anniversary event in Brussels

    Geneva Conventions 75th anniversary event in Brussels

    On 5th June, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Belgian Red Cross and the Belgian EU Presidency, organised a high-level event to mark the 75th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions and to explore their enduring legacy.

    The high-level panel was composed by representatives from the European External Action Service, academia, Belgian Red Cross and ICRC. Discussions centered around one fundamental aspect that of IHL’s universal and enduring relevance in preventing suffering during armed conflicts. For 75 years, since the 1949 Geneva Conventions were signed, IHL has established minimum standards for the treatment of civilians and combatants. These standards, based on the fundamental principle of humanity, aim to preserve basic dignity and prevent the worst consequences of war.

    Panelists highlighted IHL’s past successes in protecting countless lives and preventing atrocities. They also explored the challenges posed by evolving warfare methods, with the discussion emphasizing the need for IHL to adapt to address new threats while upholding existing legal frameworks.

    A central theme revolved around the importance of the commitment by states as the signatories to the Geneva Conventions to uphold and promote IHL. The Conventions’ universal ratification reflects an international consensus on the importance of protecting human life during conflict, regardless of political or other considerations. In this sense, the event was a great opportunity for the ICRC and the wider Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to call on states to reaffirm this responsibility and make IHL compliance a global political priority.

    There is cause to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions but also cause for concern and even cause to be outraged.

    Cordula Droege, ICRC Chief Legal Officer

    By fostering dialogue and understanding, the event served as a powerful reminder that the core principles of humanity should continue to guide the conduct of armed conflict. The ICRC hopes this renewed commitment will translate into concrete actions, saving lives and alleviating suffering for generations to come.



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