A new protocol to the Geneva Conventions is to be adopted next month which would establish a new neutral emblem alongside the Red Cross and Red Crescent. This could pave the way for the inclusion of the Magen David Adom society in the Red Cross movement.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met this morning (Monday, 31 October) with Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey at the home of the Swiss ambassador.
The Swiss minister informed Minister Shalom that she intends to issue invitations in the coming days to an international diplomatic conference at the senior official and ambassadorial level, to which 192 countries would be invited. The purpose of the conference, which is to take place in Geneva at the beginning of December, is to adopt a new protocol to the Geneva Conventions which would establish a new neutral emblem alongside the Red Cross and Red Crescent. This protocol could pave the way for the inclusion of the Magen David Adom society in the Red Cross movement.
Shalom also spoke with his Swiss counterpart, who was en route to Lebanon, about the importance of Lebanese independence and the continuation of international pressure on Syria, a country that supports terrorism, so that it should cease its involvement in the internal affairs of Lebanon and Iraq.
With regard to the Iranian situation, Minister Calmy-Rey reiterated her condemnation of Iranian statement’s against Israel. Minister Shalom said that it is precisely now that international pressure should be kept up in a united front in advance of the meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency meeting in Vienna on 24 November, so that the agency will submit the issue of Iran’s nuclear development to an urgent session of the United Nations Security Council and the council can halt this nuclear program, which endangers the entire world.
Following their meeting, Foreign Minister Shalom said that including Magen David Adom in the Red Cross movement would correct an historic injustice by recognizing MDA’s important humanitarian role in Israel and throughout the world.
Israel is committed to assisting MDA’s humanitarian activities, he said, and would also act — the security situation permitting — to ease the activities of the Palestinian humanitarian organizations, among them the Palestinian Red Crescent, in Judea and Samaria.
MDA’s affiliation with the Red Cross would also be another stage in the improvement of its international status, Shalom said.
He thanked the Swiss government for its efforts and contribution in furthering MDA’s affiliation with the Red Cross movement and wished the December conference success.