CORDIS - Forschungsergebnisse der EU

The 4th Geneva Convention’s Drafting History as the origin of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and Duty to Prevent (D2P).

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - REQUE 2 (The 4th Geneva Convention’s Drafting History as the origin of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and Duty to Prevent (D2P).)

Berichtszeitraum: 2016-09-01 bis 2018-08-31

Project Summary – REQUE 2
The overall objective of Marie Curie Fellowship -REQUE 2 was to historically reconstruct the drafting history of the 4th Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilians in War (‘GC-IV’), whose drafting began in 1946, and was signed on August 12th, 1949. GC-IV is the most important international legal treaty concerning the laws of war and armed conflict. It is the only treaty in the history of modern international law to have been signed and ratified by nearly all the recognized countries of the world. One would be hard pressed to imagine today’s world without GC-IV, whose fundamentality, pervasiveness, and all-encompassing nature have radically altered the role and functions of the international community.

Project Objective:
To articulate the history of GC-IV’s drafting through an intertwining with the biographies of this treaty’s key drafters. along the 3-year process in which they drafted it (1946-1949).
Work Undertaken:
The fellowship was construed of periods of archival research of the gathering, sifting and examination of documents, coupled with a return to the university of Verona, and with the aid, counsel and advice of the academic supervisor- taking up the writing of the resulting monograph from this fellowship. The archives visited during this fellowship were: London (National Archives – UK), Copenhagen, Stockholm, Uppsala (manuscripts section Carolina Rediviva Library), Bulgarian National Archives in Sofia (former central Soviet archives of GC-IV), Swiss Federal archives in Bern, US National Archives, U.N. New York archives, archives of the World Jewish Congress (Cincinnati), Geneva Red Cross archives, France – Foreign ministry archives (Paris- La Courneuve) and the archive of the French Council of State (Paris Palais Royal).

Summary of main project findings:
• the fact that the ICRC was initially opposed to the pervasive and all-encompassing language of today’s Common Article 3 – and that we largely have to thank France’s head of delegation and GC-IV’s president Georges Cahen Salvador, in tandem with Gerhard Riegner of the World Jewish Congress for this Article current pervasive humanitarian language as we now know it.
• That once adopted – GC-IV revolutionized completely the ICRC’s approach to its humanitarian work and shifted the organization to the very forefront of affirmative mobilization in favour of civilians and war victims. This radical change came to bear 50 years after GC-IV, when the ICRC became the central saviour in Rwanda’s genocide – against the U.N.’s moral debacle there.
• that we have GC-IV in the first place in large part thanks to the Soviet bloc’s participation at the 1949 conference of plenipotentiaries, having ‘saved’ GC-IV diplomatically
• that atomic weapons were clearly ‘on the table’ in Geneva in 1949 – that the Soviets already came to the 1949 Conference of plenipotentiaries with “the bomb in their pocket. The Soviets who officially demanded – yet to no avail the prohibition of these weapons - carried out their very first nuclear test 14 days after GC-IV’s signing !
• the fact that GC-IV’s three key drafters were all holocaust-surviving Jews who understood full well – and from recent personal experience the implications of NOT having civilians protected in war, and that the prohibition on settlements and the colonization of militarily-occupied territory, so relevant today for the Palestinian- Israeli conflict, was in fact introduced (Art. 49 paragraph 6) by Dr. Georg Cohn – the religious Jewish director of legal affairs of the Danish foreign ministry.
Achieved Project Outputs – as originally planned in the project proposal:
• a contracted research monograph elaborating GC-IV’s drafting history has been contracted by the well-known London based publishers I.B. Tauris, and will be available in print – Fall 2019
• a contracted volume, edited by the scientific supervisor , has been contracted by the well-known London based publishers Edward Elgar, and will appear in print also towards Fall 2019.
• Two academic peer-reviewed articles written and accepted for publication by esteemed peer reviewed journals:

Outputs BEYOND the originally planned in the project proposal:

Gilad Ben-Nun (2018) ‘The Subjugation of International Law to Power Politics And Mystery Of State (Arcana Imperii) in Shakespeare’s Henry V’ in Daniela Carpi, François Ost (Eds.), As You Law It - Negotiating Shakespeare (pp. 87–104). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter.

An edited volume was also both edited by the fellow as Chief Editor and came into print along the fellowship’s 2-year period. See:

Conferences attended – where papers were presented by the fellow:

1. 24-26 November 2016: Exeter University UK & Humboldt University Berlin – State Socialism Legal Experts ICL and IHL.
2. 21-23rd March 2017: United States Institute for Peace & the Institute for Peace and Security Studies – Addis Ababa.
3. 31st Aug. – 3rd Sep. 2017: ENIUGH 2017, Central European University & the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
4. 26th – 27th January 2018: Exeter University (UK): Migration Displacement and development in the Middle-East and North Africa –
5. 22nd – 23rd March 2018: Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of East-Central Europe – GWZO (Germany)
6. 24th – 25th May 2018: Kaunas University and the Sugihara House (Lithuania) – The World After the Evian Conference
7. 3-6 June 2018: Final Conference – REQUE 2 – Florence (Italy)

Dissemination in Open Media Outlets:
Three key open media dissemination activities were undertaken for the projects research activities and results:
1. Haaretz Daily Newspaper – Tel Aviv (in Hebrew) A 4,400-word long article about the fellow’s work, published by the well-known Israeli daily news-paper Haaretz, detailing the archival approach and initial findings of the project. See:
2. Youtube Video (English) - A wonderfully edited 4 minutes movie clip which explains the project (in English) was made with the help of Verona University’s research office and posted on the web. See:
3. Platinum- Sole 24 Ore (Italian) - A dedicated page (800 words) in this research-geared publication.