Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
  • Print page
First draft Convention adopted in Monaco (Sanitary cities and localities), 27 July 1934.

Since the end of the 19th century, a number of documents and drafts have been devoted to the creation of areas designated to ensure the protection of certain types of victims of armed conflicts including sick and wounded combatants and civilians. However, the first Draft Convention adopted at Monaco in 1934 occupies a special place in this series of drafts which, beginning with the first propositions made by Henry Dunant in 1870 and through the "Places of Geneva" set up by Dr. Saint-Paul's association in 1931, were to culminate in the present provisions of international humanitarian law (see in particular Article 23, Convention I of 1949; Articles 14 and 15, Convention IV of 1949; Articles 59 and 60 of Protocol I of 1977).

This first draft was drawn up by a Commission of doctors and jurists which met in Monaco from 5-11 February 1934 in response to a wish expressed at the 7th International Congress of Military Medicine and Pharmacy held in Madrid in 1933. It was then discussed at the Fifteenth International Conference of the Red Cross in Tokyo in 1934, which invited the International Committee of the Red Cross to take up this matter and study the possibility of putting these proposals into an organized and legal form since the draft convention is not a work complete in itself, but a series of particular rules. The ICRC convened two commissions of experts to this end in 1936 and 1938. Their work led to a "Draft Convention for the creation of hospital zones and localities in time of war", which was to have been examined at the Diplomatic Conference convened for the beginning of 1940 but adjourned and it was not until 1949 that these problems were inserted into the Geneva Conventions.
The first draft Convention of 1934 is divided into five chapters: I. Sanitary cities and localities; II. Sanitary Assistance by Non-Belligerents; III. Protection of Prisoners of War; IV. Protection of the Civilian Population; V. Sanctions. Chapters II, III and V to a large extent echoed provisions contained in the Geneva Conventions of 1929 whereas chapters I and IV presented a remarkably novel approach which subsequently served as a model for future standards.
05 -- 11.02.1934, Monaco


36 + 1 additional article


Recueil Général des droits et coutumes de la guerre terrestre, maritime, sous-marine et aérienne d'après les Actes élaborés par les Conférences internationales depuis 1856. Documents recueillis et annotés par M. Marcel Deltenre, les Editions Fred. Wellens-Pay, Bruxelles, 1943, pp.850-862.

Full text