Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
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Commentary of 1958 


As was seen in the commentary on Article 8 , the task of the Commissions is to make sure that the zones duly fulfil the conditions and obligations arising out of the Agreement. Should the Commissions note facts contrary to its stipulations, they should at once bring them to the notice of the Power governing the zone and also notify the Power which has recognized it.
The wording of the Article shows clearly that the rôle of the Commissions is to note any cases where the rules governing the establishment of zones are not observed, and not cases of violation by the adverse Party. The Draft Agreement might be expanded in this respect; it might, for example, contain a reference to Article 149 of the Convention, which fixes the procedure for enquiries into cases of alleged violations.
The non-utilization of a zone for the purpose stipulated in the Agreement would no doubt in itself justify intervention by the Commission.


The text adopted by the Diplomatic Conference is very nearly identical with that submitted to the XVIIth International Red Cross Conference.
The wording of paragraph 2 implies that when the five days time limit has expired, the Commission is immediately to approach the adverse Party, which only then may declare that it is no longer bound by the Agreement in respect of the zone in dispute.
The consequence of such a declaration would be to put an end to the privileged position of the zone, but it would not deprive the persons and property there of protection, since they would still be protected by the Geneva Convention. The local population would continue to benefit by the general immunity which international law assures them, and by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Article 7 of the Fourth Convention lays down that no special agreement may adversely affect the situation of protected persons, nor restrict the rights which the Convention confers upon them. Article 9 of the Draft Agreement cannot, therefore, be interpreted as depriving the persons and property in a zone of the protection accorded to them, independently of the Agreement, by the Conventions themselves. It should be remembered, finally, that the discontinuance of the protection to which medical establishments are entitled is subject to the conditions laid down in Article 19 of the Convention.