“Your forum coincides with an important date – 140 years since the St Petersburg Declaration was adopted”, Mr Medvedev said in his message. “It laid the foundations for setting legal limits based on the lofty principles humanism on the action taken by parties to military conflicts and was the first treaty to ban the use of certain types of weapons in war.
Our country was at the origins of international humanitarian law and has always paid these issues great attention. Russia was one of the first countries to establish a national society for helping those injured in war, and took an active part in drawing up rules for protection of civilians.
Today too, we call on the international community to observe the universally recognised rules and principles of international law, and we support strict compliance with the letter and spirit of the Geneva Convention, which aims to protect all who are affected by armed conflict”.
The St Petersburg Declaration banning the use of certain types of ammunition in war was adopted at Russia’s initiative in November 1896, and was signed by 20 countries.
The conference, organised by the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly and the Red Cross International Committee, is taking place in St Petersburg. Delegates include representatives of Russia, the CIS countries, Britain, Germany, Belgium, Iran and a number of other countries, and also representatives of the Council of Europe and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.