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Report on the Work of the Preliminary Conference
of National Red Cross Societies for the Study of
the Conventions and of Various Problems Relative
to the Red Cross

Geneva, July 26 - August 3, 1946

In 1945, the International Committee of the Red Cross, in preparation for drafting revisions to the Geneva Conventions, decided to convene a conference of National Red Cross Societies to elicit their views of the application of the Conventions during World War II. The Committee also wanted to provide the Societies with a forum to discuss the problems they faced as well as the work they had accomplished during the War. On July 26, 1946, at the plenary session of the Preliminary Conference, three Commissions were established, tasked with, respectively, (1) a study of the revision of the Geneva Convention and related provisions; (2) a revision of the Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War and the drafting of a Convention relative to Civilians; and (3) a study of Specific Red Cross Problems.

This report summarizes the findings of the preliminary conference and the recommendations made by the three Commissions to either amend or re-order the existing Articles of the Geneva Conventions. The Commissions proposed language for new Articles, and in some instances, deferred to the International Committee for the drafting of new Articles, but recommended principles for the International Committee to follow. This report also contains recommendations for modifications to the Conventions regarding the work of the National Red Cross Societies. In its discussion of each of its recommendations, the report references a series of reports prepared by the International Committee prior to the Conference, which provide commentary and background material, and offer proposals regarding the issues that would be addressed by the Conference. The report indicates which of these proposals have been endorsed by the Conference, and notes instances where Conference recommendations reflect proposals offered either by previous International Red Cross conferences or by study commissions that the conferences appointed. (Library of Congress Call Number JX5136 .A498; OCLC Number 503557532)

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ICRC Report, 1946
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