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日内瓦四公约和国际人道法发展70年:中国观点

更新时间: 2019/09/18 来源: 点击数: 97

日内瓦四公约和国际人道法发展70年:中国观点

——外交部条法司胡斌副司长在纪念日内瓦公约70周年

国际研讨会上的发言

97日,北京建国饭店)

 

尊敬的各位同事和专家,

女士们,先生们:

大家好!

今天,红十字国际委员会和中国国际法学会在这里联合举办国际研讨会,纪念日内瓦四公约通过70周年,我谨代表外交部条法司对会议的召开表示祝贺,并预祝会议取得圆满成功。


本次研讨会也是国际红会在全球和相关国家合作开展的系列纪念活动的一部分。长期以来,国际红会本着独立、中立原则在促进国际人道法方面出了大量努力和贡献。我们对此表示高度赞赏。本次研讨会的另一主办方中国国际法学会,一直积极推动中国国际法学界和当代国际法的发展保持着密切的互动,我们也对此表示感谢。

    我愿借此机会和大家分享两方面的观点,一是日内瓦四公约的历史作用和现实意义,二是中国在促进日内瓦四公约方面的举措以及对未来国际人道法发展的建议,希以此促进会议的讨论。

一、日内瓦四公约的历史作用和现实意义

70年前,作为国际社会在第二次世界大战的废墟上重建人道精神和国际法秩序的一项努力,在日内瓦召开的外交大会通过了我们所纪念的四项公约,对战争和武装冲突中的平民、伤病员和战俘给予基本的人道主义待遇和保护,和其附加议定书一起构筑了国际人道法核心70年来为限制战争和武装冲突的暴行和破坏、保护各类受难者和弱者发挥了不可估量的重要作用。公约所庄严宣示的人道原则,没有也不会过时,正如国际法院在1996核武器合法性的咨询意见中所述:国际人道法原则适用于各种战争形式...…包括过去的,现在的和将来的”。

日内瓦四公约也是多边主义的伟大成就。日内瓦四公约沿续并有力推进了始于1864年日内瓦公约的建立国际人道保护制度的多边努力。当时几乎所有国家参加了70年前在日内瓦召开的外交会议,并仅用四个月时间即完成谈判和通过四个公约的最终文本。四公约现已得到世界上196个国家的普遍接受。对于人道原则的国际共同信念和集体行动,是日内瓦四公约得以诞生并永葆生命力的根本保障。

日内瓦四公约也有力展示了国际法的力量和价值。古罗马法律谚语说枪炮响时,法律无声。很不幸地,近代以来数百年国家间的战争史,似乎证明了这种谚语的残酷的真实性。基于对二战的深刻反思,日内瓦四公约的通过以及被各国最为普遍地接纳,表明了国际社会迄今坚持不懈的一项坚定决心:即使是战争、武装冲突这样最具暴力和破坏性的国家行为,也需受到蕴含人道精神的国际法规则的约束和限制,而且这一约束和限制应尽可能地全面和明晰。这种国际人道法规则作为作战方式法和以《联合国宪章》第2条和第51条为基础的诉诸战争权,共同构成了落实《联合国宪章》序言第一条所说欲免后世再遭今代人类两度身历祸惨不堪言之战祸这一首要宗旨的制度安排(即武装冲突法),这也是二战后国际秩序的最为基本和重要的国际法规则体系之一。

当今世界面临百年未有大变局,二战以来的国际秩序面临深刻调整,包括受到单边主义和滥施强权的冲击。日内瓦四公约以及整个国际人道法体系也面临种种挑战,正如本次研讨会广泛的议题所显示的,如何应对网络、人工智能、空间开发等新技术所带来的挑战,如何在反恐等非国家行为体为一方主体的武装冲突中有效适用国际人道法,如何在新的复杂国际环境下凝聚国际共识、加强对国际人道法的尊重和执行等等。

在此背景下,我们纪念日内瓦四公约,就是要重申对其中所代表的人道、多边主义和尊重国际法的承诺,坚守人道原则作为任何武装冲突均应遵守的底线,反对用单边主义取代多边主义,反对以强权行径取代国际规则。

有句名言说得好不要对人道失去信心。人道就是海洋,即使海洋几滴水脏了,整个海洋也不会变脏。尽管面临各种困难和挑战,国际人道法依然保持韧性和发展人道工作者每天在世界各地冲突中救护需要被保护的人员,新的规则在国际场合被探讨,一些初步共识正在形成:联合国信息安全政府专家组(UNGGE20132015年分别发布两份报告,均确认包括《联合国宪章》在内的国际法适用于网络活动”;《特定常规武器公约》(CCW)框架下成立“致命性自主武器”(LAWS)工作组在2018年11月的报告中确认“国际人道法继续完全适用”、“国家有义务确保LAWS在国际人道法方面的合法性”;联合国人权理事会框架下已建立了私营军保公司政府间工作组,探讨建立规范私营军保公司活动的国际监管框架。我们期待国际人道法与时俱进,并愿继续作出中国的贡献。

二、中国在促进日内瓦四公约方面的举措以及对未来国际人道法发展的建议

中国传统文化基因中蕴含鲜明的人道主义元素,自古就有“不加丧,不因凶,所以爱夫其民”“不重伤、不擒二毛”“降者勿杀”等反映人道主义精神的作战训条。

新中国和日内瓦四公约同年诞生。经历了近代百年苦难的中国格外珍惜和平的可贵,一贯重视并促进遵守和执行国际人道法。中国于1956年批准《日内瓦公约》,1983年加入第一和第二附加议定书,是世界上较早批准公约、最早加入两个附加议定书的国家之一。不论在和平时期,还是在极少数根据自卫原则参加武装冲突的场合,中国都认真遵守国际人道法的各项原则和规则。2007年,中国成立了国际人道法国家委员会,成员单位包括中国红十字总会、全国人大法工委、外交部、教育部等10余家部门,就涉及促进和传播人道法的重要问题进行统筹协调。

自批准日内瓦四公约数十年来,为切实履行公约及其他国际人道法义务,中国采取了许多积极举措:

在立法方面,《国防法》要求中国在对外军事关系中遵守缔结或加入的国际条约。《刑法》规定了军人违反职责罪,惩处的罪行包括虐待俘虏、残害无辜平民等为日内瓦公约所禁止的行为。对其他严重违反日内瓦公约及其附加议定书的罪行,中国刑法也规定了相应刑罚。《红十字会法》规定中国红会应致力于传播日内瓦四公约及其附加议定书。

在军队相关制度及措施方面。中国人民解放军自初创时起即强调保护平民利益和禁止虐待俘虏。为执行日内瓦公约及其附加议定书,中国人民解放军不断完善军事法规以及军事法律顾问制度,并将公约及其附加议定书有关战俘待遇和保护平民的要求纳入平时部队训练和演习之中。近年来,中国人民解放军参加联合国维和行动、亚丁湾护航、国际灾难救援和人道主义援助,为维护国际和平与安全作出重要贡献,树立了“威武之师、文明之师、和平之师”良好形象,其中也包含人民解放军对人道原则的庄严承诺和坚定信守。

在国际规则制订方面,中国以建设性态度参与联合国信息安全政府专家组、CCW框架下“致命性自主武器系统”政府专家组、联合国私营军保公司政府间工作组、加强国际人道法执行等多边谈判进程,为推动达成共识作出了积极贡献。

在教学传播方面,中国红十字总会与国际红会加强合作,推进人道传播与创新项目,通过网络平台和新媒体技术向社会公众传播国际人道法知识。在青少年中开设国际人道法课程,举办相关知识竞赛、辩论赛、夏令营等主题活动。自2007年起,国际红会与中国多所高校合作举办国际人道法模拟法庭竞赛,至今已举办12届,影响力不断扩大。本次研讨会有许多来自中国政府、军队、学界的实务者和研究者的参与,也充分证明了中国各方面对促进人道法的兴趣和投入。

就在几天前,中国国家主席习近平会见出席中国红十字第十一次全国会员代表大会的全体代表,对他们表示诚挚问候和热烈祝贺,勉励他们为红十字事业做出更大贡献。这有力表明了中国对红十字事业的高度重视和支持。

923日,中国将与国际红会、瑞士和南非在纽约联合国总部共同举办主题为“推进多边主义、加强人道投入”(Investing in Humanity through Multilateralism)的高级别纪念活动,以重申各方对人道主义和多边主义的坚定支持。今年12月将在日内瓦召开第33届红十字与红新月国际大会,中方将积极参与,和各方共同为推动国际大会在新形势下发挥更大作用作出贡献。

女士们,先生们,

关于如何应对当前挑战,更好促进国际人道法,相信大家将在未来两天分享真知灼见。在此,我也愿分享以下看法:

一是在共同构建人类命运共同体进程中促进人道原则。2017118日,习近平主席在联合国日内瓦总部发表《共同构建人类命运共同体》的演讲,对于“世界怎么了、我们怎么办?”这一“整个世界都在思考的问题”,系统阐述了“共同构建人类命运共同体”理念这一中国方案。这一理念的首要目标是“持久和平”。习主席在讲话中指出:历史上的战争“教训惨痛而深刻。‘前事不忘,后事之师’...我们要完善机制和手段,更好化解纷争和矛盾、消弭战乱和冲突”。对持久和平的追求反映了最深层的人道精神。进一步地,世界各国和人民构成“人类命运共同体”思想,和日内瓦四公约所深刻展现的“共同的人道精神”高度契合。共同构建人类命运共同体的努力,将为日内瓦四公约以及整个国际人道法体系永葆生命力提供了坚实的信念基石和有利的环境。

二是坚持国际法和国际人道法的基本原则。习近平主席在上述《共同构建人类命运共同体》演讲中明确提到,包括《日内瓦公约》确立的国际人道主义精神在内的一系列公认的原则,“应该成为构建人类命运共同体的基本遵循”。法律和规则是人道的保障。各国在处理国际事务中应遵守以《联合国宪章》为核心的国际法和国际关系基本准则,致力于和平解决国际争端。如果武装冲突甚至战争不幸发生,冲突各方应确保日内瓦四公约的义务被尊重和遵守;在一些暂时不能确定具体规定的复杂情形下,也应遵守“共同第三条”、“马尔顿斯条款”等人道法基本规则。国际社会应发挥建设性作用,帮助有关各方加强履行国际人道法义务的能力建设。

三是坚持多边主义。多边主义和国际合作是国际人道主义在变动环境下保持生命力的必要条件。在当前各个国际人道法规则发展进程中,应坚持多边主义,以联合国为主平台在协商一致基础上达成共识,最大程度地包容各方的正当利益和主张,以便相关规则能得到最广泛的接受和遵守。

四是在促进国际人道法传播和实施中应坚持非政治化原则。近年来,各方在红十字和红新月国际大会框架下讨论了加强人道法执行机制问题,尽管未能就建立新机制达成共识,但讨论人道法问题应遵循非政治化、非对抗等原则得到了各方普遍认可。相关原则是各国分享良好实践、坦诚交流的重要保障,有利于促进人道法的执行和传播。相信我们本次研讨会也会很好贯彻这些原则。

让我以会议的主题“重申承诺”结束发言。无论世界发生怎样的变化,中国对和平的永恒追求和对国际人道法的坚定承诺都不会改变。中国愿与世界各国以及国际红会一道,继续坚定秉持多边主义和尊重国际法,在共同构建人类命运共同体的进程中不断促进日内瓦四公约所代表的人道精神的发展。




Chinas Perspective on the Geneva Conventions and International

Humanitarian Law Development over the Last 70 years

Remarks at the Colloquium

The Geneva Conventions at 70: Renewing the Commitment

 

HU Bin

Deputy Director-General

Department of Treaty and Law

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

Distinguished delegates and experts,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning!

It gives me great pleasure to attend this colloquium co-organized by the ICRC and Chinese Society of International Law with the generous support of the Embassy of Switzerland in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Geneva Conventions. On behalf the Department of Treaty and Law of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I wish to extend warm congratulations and wish the colloquium every success.


This colloquium is also a part of the series of commemorative activities organized by ICRC in cooperation with various countries around the world. The ICRC, as the guardian of the Geneva Conventions, has long made enormous efforts and great contribution to promoting international humanitarian law (IHL) under the principles of independence and neutrality, to which I wish to express our deep appreciation. Chinese Society of International Law, another co-organizer of the colloquium, has long been actively promoting the engagement between Chinese academia and the contemporary development of international law, to which I express our appreciation, too.

My sharing today will be focused on two aspects. First, the historical value and current relevance of the Geneva Conventions, and second, Chinas activities and contributions in promoting Geneva Conventions and suggestions on the development of international humanitarian law.

    I. The historical role and current relevance of the Geneva Conventions.

70 years ago, as an important effort of international community to rebuild the the spirit of humanity and international legal order upon the ashes of WWII, the diplomatic conference held in Geneva adopted the four Geneva Conventions we are celebrating. The Geneva Conventions render basic humanitarian treatment and protection to civilians,hors de combat and prisoners of war and, along with their additional protocols, are the foundation of international humanitarian law. 

Over the past seven decades, the Geneva Conventions have played an immeasurable role in constraining the atrocity and destruction of wars and armed conflicts, protecting victims and the vulnerables. The humanitarian principles enshrined in the Conventions have not and will never be outdated. The International Court of Justice observed in its Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons in 1996, international humanitarian principles applies to all forms of warfare..., those of the past, those of the present and those of the future”.

    The Geneva Conventions are also a great achievement of multilateralism. The conventions continued and effectively advanced the ongoing multilateral efforts to establish international humanitarian protection system dated from 1864 when the Geneva Convention was firstly adopted. Almost all states at that time participated in the Geneva diplomatic conferences. They took only 4 months finishing the negotiation and adopted the final draft of all the four Conventions. Today, the Geneva Conventions have been universally accepted by all 196 states. The common conviction to and collective action for humanitarian principles are fundamental guarantee for the birth of the Geneva Conventions and their everlasting relevance.

The Geneva Conventions also strongly demonstrate the strength and value of international law. An ancient Roman legal maxim says, “Inter arma silent legesin time of war, laws are silent”. Unfortunately, the history of hundreds years of war since the modern times seems to have proved the cruel truth of the expression.

Upon the deep reflection on bitter lessons of the WWII, international community adopted and later on universally accepted the Geneva Conventions, demonstrating a resolute determination, being still upheld today, that is, even war and armed conflicts, the most violent and disruptive acts by states, should be constrained and restricted by international legal norms dictated by humanitarian principles, and the constrains and restrictions should be as comprehensive and clear-cut as possible

These legal norms, known as jus in bello, together with jus ad bellum based upon Article 2 and 51 of UN Charter, constitute the institutional arrangement (a.k.a Law of armed conflicts) to implement the primary purpose of the UN Charter as stipulated in the very first sentence in its preamble “sav[ing] succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind”. They are also among the most fundamental and essential body of law within the post-war international order.

Our world today is experiencing profound changes unseen in a century, the international order since WWII is undergoing a profound transformation, with repercussions caused by unilateralism and abuse of power by some countries. The Geneva Conventions and the international humanitarian legal system as a whole, themselves are facing various challenges, most of which are covered by the wide-ranging topics of this colloquium, including how to tackle the challenges brought up by new technologies on cyberspace, A.I. and outer space, how to effectively apply international humanitarian law to armed conflicts with Non-state actor as one of the parties, how to build international consensus to strengthen the respect for and implementation of international humanitarian law under a ever more complicated international environment, etc.  

Against this backdrop, in commemorating the Geneva Conventions, we should reaffirm our commitment to humanity, to multilateralism and to respect of international law as exemplified by the Conventions, uphold humanitarian principles as a bottom line for all armed conflicts, and uphold multilateralism over unilateralism, respecting international rules over abuse of power.

As a famous saying goes:you must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. Although facing various difficulties and challenges, international humanitarian law remains resilient and keeps evolving.

Humanitarian workers are saving lives and providing protections and aids to persons effected by armed conflicts everyday across the world, new rules of IHL are explored in various international fora with initial consensus taking shape: UNGGE (Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security) has issued 2 reports respectively in 2013 and 2015, both confirmed “International law, in particular the Charter of the United Nations, is applicable” to activities in cyberspace.

The GGE on LAWS (Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems) under the framework of CCW (Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons) confirmed in its report issued in October 2018,that “International humanitarian law continues to apply fully to all weapons systems, including the potential development and use of lethal autonomous weapons systems”, and also confirmed the states obligation to conduct the IHL legality test for “Study, development, acquisition, or adoption of a new weapon, means or method of warfare”. (“In accordance with States’ obligations under international law, in the study, development, acquisition, or adoption of a new weapon, means or method of warfare, determination must be made whether its employment would, in some or all circumstances, be prohibited by international law.” )

    Human Rights Council has set up an intergovernmental working group on Private Military and Security Companies, aiming at establishing the international regulation framework for activities of private military and security companies. We would like to see international humanitarian law to keep evolving with the times, and stand ready to make new contributions thereto.

    II. Now I would like to turn to the China’s activities and contributions to promoting the Geneva Conventions and suggestions on the development of international humanitarian law.

Distinctive elements of humanitarianism are embedded in the DNA of Chinese traditional culture. Even in ancient times, there were military disciplines out of humanitarian consideration such as spare the wounded, don’t capture the weak ones, and don’t kill the surrenders.

People’s republic of China was founded the same year as the Geneva Conventions. Rising from a hundred year of sufferings since the modern times, China highly values the preciousness of peace and humanity and has consistently attached great importance to and promoted the compliance and implementation of international humanitarian law. China ratified the four Geneva Conventions in 1956, acceded to the two Additional Protocols in 1983, among the earliest memberships to both the four Conventions and the Protocols. Whether in times of peace or in rare cases of armed conflicts that it was drawn into for the reason of self-defense, China has faithfully complied with international humanitarian law. In 2007, China established National Committee for promoting the implementation of international humanitarian law, composed of 10-plus ministries, agencies and entities, including the Red Cross Society of China, Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, etc.

Over decades ever since ratifying the Geneva Conventions, China has actively taken many measures to fulfill its obligations under the Conventions and other international humanitarian laws:

On the aspect of legislation, the National Defense Law requires the observance of the international treaties to which China is a party. The Criminal Law provides for an offense of Breach of Duties by Serviceman, penalizing maltreatment of prisoners of war, attacking civilians and other activities forbidden by the Geneva Conventions. Law on the Red Cross Society mandates the Red Cross Society of China to advocate the fundamental principles of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols.

In terms of military regulations and measures. Since its founding, People's Liberation Army has put great emphasis on the protection of the interests and rights of civilians and the prohibition on inhumane treatment of prisoners of war. In order to implement the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols, the PLA keeps improving military regulations and military legal adviser system, and has integrated the requirements of the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols on protection of POW and civilians into daily training and exercises. In recent years, PLA has been actively participating in the UN peacekeeping operations, the escort operations in Gulf of Aden, international disaster relief and humanitarian aids, made great contributions to international peace and security and demonstrated that PLA is an “army of might, discipline and peace”, which also serves as a testimony of the PLAs solemn commitment and firm adherence to humanitarian principles.

On developing of international rules, China has constructively participated in multilateral negotiation processes such as UNGGE, Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems under the framework of CCW, UN intergovernmental working group on PMSC and the process of strengthening compliance with IHL, and has made positive contributions to promoting consensus.

On dissemination of knowledge on IHL, the Red Cross Society of China has, in close cooperation with ICRC, carried out promotion programs through online platforms and other new media technologies. IHL course has been introduced into primary and secondary schools, IHL knowledge or debate competitions, summer camps and other promotion activities have been organized. Since 2007, ICRC in cooperation with Chinese universities has held the IHL Moot Court Competition annually, the influence of which is ever increasing. The wide and active participation of by practitioners and researchers including from Government, military, academia and civil society is a vivid testimony to the high interests and contributions of China on promoting IHL.

Just a few days ago, President Xi Jinping met with delegates to the 11th General Congress of the Red Cross Society of China, and encouraged the delegates to make new contributions to the Red Cross cause. This effectively demonstrates China highly values and supports the Red Cross cause.

On 23 September 2019, in the margins of the 74th UN General Assembly session, China, South Africa, Switzerland and the ICRC will co-host a High-Level Side Event entitled Investing in Humanity through Multilateralism to mark the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions and to renew our commitment to humanity and multilateralism. In December of this year, the 33rd session of the International Conference of Red Cross and Red Crescent will be held in Geneva. China stands ready to work with all other parties to further enhance the value and relevance of the International Conference.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am sure we will learn about many insights on how to tackle current challenges and to better promote the implementation of IHL in the rest of the 2 days. Here, I would like to take this opportunity to share my views:

Firstly, to promote the humanitarian principles through the joint efforts of building a community of shared future for humankind. On January 18th 2017, President Xi Jinping delivered a speech entitled Work together to Build a Community of Shared Future for Humankind at UN Headquarter in Geneva. In that speech, on the question about “What has happened to the world and how should we respond? ”a question the whole world is reflecting on, President Xi presented the Chinese proposal, that is working together to build a community with a shared future for humankind.

This vision set “to pursue long-lasting peace” as a primary goal. In that speech, President Xi stressed that from the wars in history “we have drawn painful and profound lessons. ‘History, if not forgotten, can serve as a guide for the future.... What we need to do is to improve the mechanisms and means to more effectively resolve disputes, reduce tension and put an end to wars and conflicts”. The endeavors to realize long-lasting peace reflects the deepest-rooted humanitarian spirit. 

Moreover, the “community with a shared future for mankind” consisting of all countries and people highly accords with the idea of “common humanity” enshrined by the four Geneva Conventions. The joint efforts of building a community of shared future for mankind provides a solid cornerstone and favorable environment for lasting vitality of the four Geneva Conventions and the IHL system as a whole.

Secondly, to uphold the basic principles of international law and IHL. In the above-mentioned speech of work together to build a community of shared future for humankind, President Xi explicitly highlighted that universally recognized principles including international humanitarian spirit set up by Geneva Conventions “should be the basic norms in building a community of shared future for mankind”. Laws and rules are fundamental guarantees for preserving humanity. In dealing with international affairs, countries should observe international law and basic principles of international relations centered on UN Charter and be committed to peaceful settlement of international disputes.

If the armed conflicts and even worse, the wars, cannot be avoided, parties to the conflicts should ensure their compliance with the Conventions and Additional Protocols; and in situations where applicable rules are unclear, basic IHL rules such as “common Article 3” and “the Martens Clause” should still be obeyed. International community should play an constructive role in assisting relevant parties in building capacity of fulfilling IHL obligations.  

Thirdly, to uphold multilateralism. Multilateralism and international cooperation is indispensable for the maintaining the relevance of international humanitarianism under the changing environment. Multilateralism is the only effective way to further developing IHL. Only through inclusive and thorough consultation, with UN as the main platform, and accommodating the views and legitimate interests of all parties, can consensus be reached and the widest support and compliance of the outcome be possible.

Fourthly, to uphold the principles of non-politicalization in the promotion and implementation of IHL. In the previous years, member states of the Geneva Conventions discussed how to strengthen the implementation of IHL as mandated by the last session of the International Conference of Red Cross and Red Crescent. Although consensus hasn’t been made on the issue of establishing a new mechanism, the principles of non-politicalization and non-confrontation have been widely accepted by all participants. These principles are significant guarantees for sharing good practice and exchange ideas on the implementation and promotion of IHL. I believe the discussion in this colloquium will also follow these principles.

Id like to conclude my speech by going back to the theme of this Colloquium, Renewing the Commitment. No matter how the world evolves, Chinas firm conviction to and solid commitment to international humanitarian law will never change. China will work with all other States and ICRC to firmly uphold multilateralism and the respect for international law, promote the development of humanitarian spirit embodied in the Geneva Conventions in the process of building a community of shared future for mankind.