Geneva Conventions and United Nations Personnel (Protocols) Bill [ Lords]

Part of Registration of Births and Deaths (Welsh Language) – in the House of Commons at 2:31 pm on 1st April 2009.

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Photo of Adam Holloway Adam Holloway Conservative, Gravesham 2:31 pm, 1st April 2009

I am now concerned that the Whips Office is breaking into my hard drive, because the very next line of my speech is about the Israeli preference for the star of David. Now that the Israelis will be or have been admitted—I am not sure which—into the international federation, the idea seems to be that they can have the star of David with the crystal around it. If that is correct, I assume that that symbol would provide exactly the same protection under international law as the red crescent.

Who exactly decides who can use the new symbol and where? Will the combination of emblems, such as the star of David and the crescent, be fully operative for indicative and protective purposes in all cases? How will the new emblem affect the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement? Will the crystal be included in any of their titles in future? Will there be a new international crystal organisation?

How do we get the message out there that the symbol means what it means? There are two issues, the first of which is recognition. When I was with ITN in Bosnia, I remember that we had four white, armoured Land Rovers that said "ITN unit" on the side, but the word "unit" was bigger than "ITN". I remember people in a village one day assuming that we were a military unit because the Land Rover had the word "unit" on the side, so whether or not people recognise the new symbol is not a trite point.

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