Protocol III to 1949 Geneva Conventions and an Amendment and Protocol to 1980 Conventional Weapons ConventionSenate Consideration of Treaty Document 109-10
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[Senate Treaty Document 109-10] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] 109th Congress 2d Session SENATE Treaty Doc. 109-10 _______________________________________________________________________ PROTOCOL III TO 1949 GENEVA CONVENTION AND AN AMENDMENT AND PROTOCOL TO 1980 CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS CONVENTION __________ MESSAGE from THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES transmitting PROTOCOL ADDITIONAL TO THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS OF 12 AUGUST 1949, AND RELATING TO THE ADOPTION OF AN ADDITIONAL DISTINCTIVE EMBLEM (THE ``GENEVA PROTOCOL III''), ADOPTED AT GENEVA ON DECEMBER 8, 2005, AND SIGNED BY THE UNITED STATES ON THAT DATE; THE AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE 1 OF THE CONVENTION ON PROHIBITIONS OR RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF CERTAIN CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS WHICH MAY BE DEEMED TO BE EXCESSIVELY INJURIOUS OR TO HAVE INDISCRIMINATE EFFECTS (THE ``CCW AMENDMENT''); AND THE CCW PROTOCOL EXPLOSIVE REMNANTS OF WAR (THE ``CCW PROTOCOL V'') June 20, 2006.--Treaty was read the first time, and together with the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and order to be printed for the use of the Senate LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL ---------- The White House, June 20, 2006. To The Senate of the United States: With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith: the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem (the ``Geneva Protocol III''), adopted at Geneva on December 8, 2005, and signed by the United States on that date; the Amendment to Article 1 of the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (the ``CCW Amendment''); and the CCW Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War (the ``CCW Protocol V''). I transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State concerning these treaties. Geneva Protocol III. Geneva Protocol III creates a new distinctive emblem, a Red Crystal, in addition to and for the same purposes as the Red Cross and the Red Crescent emblems. The Red Crystal is a neutral emblem that can be employed by governments and national societies that face challenges using the existing emblems. In addition, Geneva Protocol III will pave the way for Magen David Adom, Israel's national society, to achieve membership in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Legislation implementing Geneva Protocol III will be submitted to the Congress separately. CCW Amendment. The amendment to Article 1 of the CCW, which was adopted at Geneva on December 21, 2001, eliminates the distinction between international and non-international armed conflict for the purposes of the rules governing the prohibitions and restrictions on the use of certain conventional weapons. It does not change the legal status of rebel or insurgent groups into that of protected or privileged belligerents. CCW Protocol V. CCW Protocol V, which was adopted at Geneva on November 28, 2003, addresses the post-conflict threat generated by conventional munitions such as mortar shells, grenades, artillery rounds, and bombs that do not explode as intended or that are abandoned. CCW Protocol V provides for the marking, clearance, removal, and destruction of such remnants by the party in control of the territory in which the munitions are located. Conclusion. I urge the Senate to give prompt and favorable consideration to each of these instruments and to give its advice and consent to their ratification. These treaties are in the interest of the United States, and their ratification would advance the longstanding and historic leadership of the United States in the law of armed conflict. George W. Bush. LETTER OF SUBMITTAL ---------- Department of State, Washington, DC, June 12, 2006. The President, The White House. Mr. President: I have the honor to submit to you the following treaties with a view to their transmittal to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification: the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem (``Geneva Protocol III''), adopted at Geneva on December 8, 2005; the Amendment to Article 1 of the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (``CCW Amendment''), adopted at Geneva on December 21, 2001; and the CCW Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War (``CCW Protocol V''), adopted at Geneva on November 28, 2003. The United States, which actively participated in the negotiations of each treaty, signed Geneva Protocol III at Geneva on the date that it was adopted, and joined the consensus adoption of the CCW Amendment and CCW Protocol V. I recommend that these treaties be transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification. Geneva Protocol III. Geneva Protocol III establishes a new distinctive emblem, a Red Crystal, in addition to and for the same purposes as the Red Cross and the Red Crescent emblems. The Red Crystal is a neutral emblem that can be employed by governments and national societies that face challenges using the existing emblems or that believe that this neutral emblem may offer enhanced protections in certain situations. In addition, Geneva Protocol III will pave the way for Magen David Adom, Israel's national society, to become a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. CCW Amendment. Article 1 of CCW as adopted in 1980 limited the treaty's scope of application to international armed conflict and wars of national liberation. In 1999, the United States proposed expanding the scope of CCW as a whole to non- international armed conflicts, thus according the civilian population the same protections against the indiscriminate use of landmines and certain other conventional weapons regardless of the type of conflict. States Parties adopted this amendment in 2001; it entered into force internationally on May 18, 2004. CCW Protocol V. CCW Protocol V provides rules for what must be done with respect to munitions that were intended to have exploded during an armed conflict but failed to do so, in order to reduce the threat such munitions pose to civilians and to post-conflict reconstruction. CCW Protocol V will enter into force on November 12, 2006, which is six months after twenty states notified their consent to be bound by CCW Protocol V. An overview of the provisions of each treaty is enclosed. Legislation implementing Geneva Protocol III in a manner that does not impose a cost on U.S. taxpayers is being submitted separately to the Congress. Conclusion. I believe that ratification of each of these instruments, which promote the humanitarian objectives of the United States, would advance the longstanding and historic leadership of the United States in the law of armed conflict and, augmented by the adoption of implementing legislation for Geneva Protocol III, would be consistent with existing U.S. legislation. The Departments of Defense and Justice, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (regarding Geneva Protocol III), join me in recommending that these treaties be transmitted to the Senate at an early date for its advice and consent to ratification. Respectfully submitted, Condoleezza Rice. Enclosure: As stated.