HUMAN RIGHTS IN ARMED CONFLICTS
Resolution XXllI adopted by the International Conference on Human
Rights, Teheran, 12 May 1968
INTRODUCTORY NOTE: This resolution reaffirms, in paragraph 2, the famous de Martens clause included in the preambles of the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 concerning the laws and customs of war according to which. states in armed conflict shall apply "the principles of the law of nations derived from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity and from the dictates of the public conscience". The Martens clause was subsequently reafftrmed in Article 1(4) of the 1977 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions (No. 56) and in paragraph 5 of the Preamble of the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (No. 20). The International Conference on Human Rights, which adopted the present resolution, was convened by the United Nations on the occasion of the International Year for Human Rights (twentieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).
AUTHENTIC TEXTS: English, French, Russian, Spanish.
TEXT PUBLISHED IN: Final Act of the International Conference on Human Rights, Teheran, 22 April to 13 May 1968, United Nations, Document A/Conf. 32/41 (Sales No. 68JOV.2), (also in French, Russ. and Span.); Droits des conflits armés, pp. 321-323 (French); JCRC website: www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf.
The International Conference on Human Rights,
Considering that peace is the underlying condition for the full observance of human rights and war is their negation,
Believing that the purpose of the United Nations Organization is to prevent all conflicts and to institute an effective system for the peaceful settlement of disputes,
Observing that nevertheless armed conflicts continue to plague humanity,
Considering, also, that the widespread violence and brutality of our times, including massacres, summary executions, tortures, inhuman treatment of prisoners, killing of civilians in armed conflicts and the use of chemical and biological means of warfare, including napalm bombing, erode human rights land engender counter-brutality,
Convinced that even during the periods of armed conflict, humanitarian principles must prevail,
Noting that the provisions of the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 were intended to be only aftrst step in the provision of a code prohibiting or limiting the use of certain methods of warfare and that they were adopted at a time when the present means and methods of warfare did not exist,