[The Human Rights Library wishes to express its gratitude to the Institute Henry Dunant for its contribution of this document.]
EXTRACTS FROM THE FINAL ACT
The Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts, convened by the Swiss Federal Council, held four sessions in Geneva (from 20 February to 29 March 1974, from 3 February to 18 April 1975, from 21 April to 11 June 1976 and from 17 March to 10 June 1977). The object of the Conference was to study two draft Additional Protocols prepared, after official and private consultations, by the International Committee of the Red Cross and intended to supplement the four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949.
One hundred and twenty-four States were represented at the first session of the Conference, 120 States at the second session, 107 States at the third session and 109 States at the fourth session.
In view of the paramount importance of ensuring broad participation in the work of the Conference, which was of a fundamentally humanitarian nature, and because the progressive development and codification of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts is a universal task in which the national liberation movements can contribute positively, the Conference by its resolution 3 (I) decided to invite also the national liberation movements recognized by the regional intergovernmental organizations concerned to participate fully in the deliberations of the Conference and its Main Committees, it being understood that only delegations representing States were entitled to vote.
The International Committee of the Red Cross, which had prepared the two draft Additional Protocols, participated in the work of the Conference in an expert capacity.
The Conference drew up the following instruments:
Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I) and Annexes I and II;
Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II).
These Additional Protocols were adopted by the Conference on 8 June 1977. They will be submitted to Governments for consideration and will be open for signature on 12 December 1977, at Berne, for a period of twelve months, in accordance with their provisions. These instruments will also be open for accession, in accordance with their provisions.
DONE AT GENEVA, on 10 June 1977, in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish, the original and accompanying documents to be deposited in the Archives of the Swiss Confederation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the representatives have signed this Final Act.