By Lillian Sopera Keneqa – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The Geneva Conventions were commemorated in Port Moresby marking 70 years since the establishment of the four Geneva conventions in 1949. Created for the worst of times, the Geneva conventions preserve the core of our common humanity.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) mission in Papua New Guinea, the diplomatic corps and stakeholders reflected upon 70 years of Geneva Conventions by hosting a panel discussion on the 12th of August.
The four Geneva Conventions of 1949 protect all people affected by armed conflict, even non-international ones, irrespective of race and religion.
ICRC head of mission in PNG, Ahmad Hallak, said the conventions remain as necessary and life-saving as they were intended to be.
The laws of war continue to be violated in conflicts around the world… Minimising the protective power of international human law risks creating a vicious cycle where violations are seen inherent to warfare.
The Geneva Conventions are made up of four treaties, and three additional protocols, that create the standards of international law for humanitarian treatment in war.
The conventions broadly defined the basic rights of wartime prisoners, established protections for the wounded and sick, and established protections for the civilians in and around a war-zone.
The International Committee of the Red Cross is at the origin of the conventions and directs and coordinates the international activities in armed conflicts and other situations of violence, including PNG.
A group of panelists brought about their views on the conventions in the PNG context.
It is clear that respect for International Humanitarian Law is possible and that its implementation makes a meaningful difference.