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Geneva Conventions 'universal' after latest signatures: ICRC

[JURIST] The Geneva Conventions of 1949 [text] is now the first international treaty to gain universal international acceptance, according to Jean-Philippe Lavoyer, head of the legal division of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [official website]. Lavoyer said on Monday that with accessions to the Geneva Conventions by Nauru [CIA backgrounder] on June 27, and Montenegro [CIA backgrounder] on August 2, the Conventions have been signed by 194 countries [ICRC list] - the 192 member states of the United Nations [list], as well as the Vatican and Palestinian Authority.

The first Geneva Convention protecting vulnerable persons in times of conflict was signed by twelve nations in 1864 and the modern Geneva Conventions were drafted after World War II to protect the victims of war worldwide. As both Nauru and Montenegro also signed the 1977 Additional Protocol I [text] and Additional Protocol II [text], the first protocol now has 166 parties, and the second has 162 parties. Read the ICRC press release.

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