60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 was celebrated today by the Red Cross movement partners ie the IRCS, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies together with the Swiss embassy.
The book launching ceremony was attended by the Chief Guest, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India, eminent film Director and Goodwill Ambassador of the ICRC, Mr. Mahesh Bhatt, Chargė d’ Affaires, Embassy of Switzerland, Mr. Arthur Mattli, Dr. S.P. Agarwal, Secretary General, IRCS, Mr. Francois Stamm. HoRD, ICRC, Mr. Azmat Ulla, HoRD,
IFRC, SARD, dignitaries, diplomats, journalists and officials, delegates & members from Red Cross movement.
‘Even wars have limits”, and these four words sum up the Geneva Conventions of 1949, expressed the Chief Guest, Dr. Shashi Tharoor. India exhibited its sincerity towards implementation of the IHL by being the fifth depository to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and first from this part of the world, he added. Recollecting from Manu’s treatises on rules relating to war and the Mahabharta, he concluded that in today’s awakened world, ‘Let us not strike when weapons concealed’.
Dr. S.P. Agarwal, Secretary General, IRCS in his address informed that the Indian Red Cross Society, which has a huge presence across the country, is actively carrying out dissemination of International humanitarian Law and Geneva Conventions of 1949. He added that ICRC supported programmes in India are helping in alleviating the human suffering that sums up the Geneva Conventions of 1949. He added that under the Restoring Family Links programme that is an unique manifestation of the Geneva Conventions, last year 285 Red Cross Messages were exchanged and 152 tracing files were opened out of which 25 were positively closed.
Director Mahesh Bhatt voiced that the history talks about the evils that man has done to man. We are completing the first decade of 21st Century but if we study the trend we find that every succeeding century is getting more violent in comparison to the previous one. Sharing his own experiences he said that the brute inside us remains alive and it takes great effort to master it. He concluded by saying that a bit of Henri Dunant is in all of us and all we need to do is to wake him up.