HC Deb 25 June 2002 vol 387 cc780-1W
37. Mr. Blunt

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the effectiveness of the Fourth Geneva convention. [62142]

Mr. MacShane

Together with their 1977 additional protocols, the four Geneva conventions of 1949 remain the cornerstone of international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva convention is the most lengthy, affording protection to civilian populations, which the experiences of the second world war showed to be singularly deficient in the international legal instruments adopted hitherto. The Government consider that the conventions have collectively stood the test of time and that, where properly applied, the Fourth convention and additional protocols offer a high degree of protection and serve to reduce the degree of suffering to which civilians may be exposed by conflict.

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