Practice relating to Rule 66. Non-Hostile Contacts between the Parties to the Conflict
Section C. Definition of parlementaires
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) defines a parlementaire as:
a person authorized by a military belligerent authority to enter into direct communication with the enemy; the scope of his powers is usually to conclude specific agreements to be executed on the battlefield. The parlementaire … must advance bearing a visible distinctive sign consisting of a white flag.
The manual adds that the authorization for a parlementaire to enter into negotiations must be in writing.
The manual further emphasizes the importance of the use of parlementaires in the context of peacekeeping operations, not only for the safeguard of human life, but also to prevent or rapidly put an end to possible incidents, especially those involving the use of arms.
Italy’s Combatant’s Manual (1998) states: “Parlementaires, i.e. those who request to meet with the Commanding Officer of the enemy unit to discuss a ceasefire or to surrender, are protected by the ‘White flag
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, defines a parlementaire as “a person authorized by military authority to enter into direct communication with the enemy. The parlementaire must be provided with a document proving his status and powers and must advance with a white flag.”