CONDITIONS OF APPLICATION OF
HUMANITARIAN RULES OF ARMED CONFLICT
TO HOSTILITIES IN WHICH UNITED NATIONS
FORCES MAY BE ENGAGED
Resolution adopted by the Institute of International Law at its session at Zagreb, 3 September 1971
INTRODUCTORY NOTE: NO international treaty expressly provides for the application of the law of armed conflicts to hostilities in which United Nations Forces are engaged. However, from 1954 on, several resolutions, adopted by governmental and non-governmental bothes took up this question. The Hague Intergovernmental Conference on the Protection of Cultural Property of 1954, in Resolution I (No. 70) expressed the hope that the competent organs of the United Nations would decide, in the event of military action being taken in implementation of the Charter, to ensure the application of the provisions of the Hague Convention of 1954 by the armed forces taking part in such action. The Council of Delegates of the International Red Cross, at the Centenary Congress of the Red Cross in Geneva in 1963, adopted a resolution recommending, inter alia, that the United Nations be invited to adopt a solemn declaration accepting that the Geneva Conventions equally apply to their emergency forces as they apply to the forces of states parties to the said Conventions. The International Red Cross Conference in Vienna in 1965, in its resolution XXV, recommended, in particular, that appropriate agreements be concluded to ensure that armed forces placed at the disposal of the United Nations observe the provisions of the Geneva Conventions and are protected by them. The International Law Association, at its Helsinki Conference in 1966, took up the proposal that the United Nations should by declaration accept the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and of the Hague Convention of 1954.
The Resolution of the Institute of International Law, reprinted below, was the first to set out more detailed rules for the problems involved. It was adopted by a vote of 42 in favour, none against and 1 abstention.
AUTHENTIC TEXT: French. The English translation below is reprinted from the Annuaire de l'Institut de Droit international, Vol. 54, II, 1971.
TEXT PUBLISHED IN: Annuaire de l'Institut de Droit international, Vol. 54, II, 1971, pp. 449–454 (French); pp. 465–170 (Engl.); Institut de Droit international, Tableau des Résolutions adoptées, 1957–1991, Paris, Pedone, 1992, pp. 86–93 (French, Engl.); AJ1L, Vol. 66, 1972, pp. 465–468 (Engl.); RGDIP, tome 75, No. 4, octobre-décembre 1971, pp. 1257–1259 (French); Droit des conflits armés, pp. 1273–1276 (French).
The Institute of International Law,
Recalling its Resolution on “Equality of application of the rules of the law of war to the parties to an armed conflict” (Brussels Session, 1963);