Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
  • Print page
Commentary of 1960 

Powers which, under the present provision, may not sign the Convention because they were not represented at the Diplomatic Conference and are not parties to the Tenth Hague Convention of 1907 or to the Geneva Conventions of 1864, 1906 and 1929, may nevertheless accede to it.
The date of February 12, 1950 (that is to say, six months from August 12, 1949, the date of signature) is the same in the case of all four Conventions (1).
The importance of signature, which marks the agreement of the plenipotentiaries to a text that cannot thereafter be altered, must not be disregarded; States are not bound by the Convention, however, until they have ratified it, and ratification is the subject of the next Article .
It should also be mentioned that some delegations made reservations at the time of signature (2).

* (1) [(2) p.274] Eighteen States signed the Convention on
August 12, 1949, twenty-seven did so on December 8 of the
same year at a ceremony organized for the purpose by the
Swiss Federal Council, and sixteen did so later, within
the time-limit laid down;

(2) [(3) p.274] For the text of the reservations, see ' Final
Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949 ',
Vol. I, pp. 342-357. Such reservations do not remain in
force, however, unless they are confirmed when the
instrument of ratification is deposited;