The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 20, 2006

Message 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.



June 19, 2006.

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