The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

 MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA

Joint Media Release

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer and The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock

7 July 2006

Australia welcomes Nauru’s accession to the Geneva Conventions

We welcome the historic announcement by the Government of Nauru that it has acceded to the four Geneva Conventions and two Additional Protocols. 

Nauru’s accession has resulted in the universal ratification of all of the Geneva Conventions. 

The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols provide basic minimum standards to be applied by States Parties in situations of armed conflict. 

Australia, as a strong supporter of international humanitarian law, is pleased that the Government of Nauru has decided to commit itself to this important body of international law.  

We also welcome Nauru’s decision to sign the Third Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. 
The third Protocol, which was adopted in Geneva on 8 December 2005, establishes a third universal and distinctive emblem with no religious, ethnic, racial, regional or political connotations.  The adoption of the Protocol has resolved a long-standing issue which has constrained the capacity of humanitarian organisations to deliver assistance freely, safely and efficiently in certain parts of the world.

Australia became a party to the Geneva Conventions on 14 October 1958 and the First and Second Additional Protocols on 21 June 1991.  Australia signed the Third Additional Protocol in March this year and the relevant domestic processes to enable ratification are currently underway.

Inquiries: Mr Downer's office 02 62777 500 - Mr Ruddock's office 02 6277 7300


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