|Means of Identification for Protected Medical Transports (International Committee of the Red Cross , 1994, 18 p.)|
We therefore think that identification is no longer a technical problem but an issue that largely depends on the will of the parties concerned to recognize the right of protected transports and those not involved in a conflict to use all technical means of identification available today, in order to avoid being taken as targets, or even destroyed, by belligerent forces.
It is important to point out, however, that no means of identification is fully reliable. Visual means are inevitably affected by distance, weather conditions, smoke screens and a number of other natural or man-made hindrances. Radiocommunication and electronic identification may be seriously jeopardized by electronic warfare measures such as the jamming of communication networks and radar systems. Electronic warfare also includes measures of deception which consist in generating and introducing false information into the enemy's systems.18 In periods of armed conflict, all these possibilities have to be taken into account and several different means of identification should therefore be used simultaneously to ensure that protected transports have the best possible chances of being rapidly and reliably identified by all the parties to the conflict.
18 Meeting of Technical Experts with a view to possible revision of Annex I to 1977 Protocole additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions - Geneva, 20-24 August 1990 -Comments by the United States of America concerning Articles 8 through 14.
Gerald C. Cauderay trained and worked for several years as a merchant navy radio navigator and radar operator. He later held a number of senior positions in the electronics industry, in particular in the fields of telecommunications and marine and aeronautical radio navigation, before being appointed Industrial and Scientific Counsellor to the Swiss Embassy in Moscow. At the ICRC, he is especially in charge of matters relating to the identification and marking of protected medical establishments and transports and to telecommunications. He has published several articles in the Review: "Visibility of the distinctive emblem on medical establishments, units and transports" (No. 277, July-August 1990, pp. 295-318), "The development of new anti-personnel weapons" (together with L. Doswald-Beck, No. 279, November-December 1990, pp. 565-576) and "Anti-personnel mines" (No. 295, July-August 1993, pp. 273-287).