Hospital Ship Commissions

 

MINUTES OF THE INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON EQUIVALENCE AND MUTUAL RECOGNITION OF DIPLOMAS AND THE SECOND MEETING OF THE SECURITY AND HEALTH COMMISSION OF THE HOSPITAL SHIP "L’HUMANITE I",

HELD ON 23 MAY
2000 AT UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS

 

Were present:

Mr. Nacendine Sai, Counsellor, delegated by HE. Mr. Abdallah Baali, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Algeria to the United Nations

Mrs. Nicole Elisah, Counsellor, delegated by HE. M. Joël Wassi, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Benin to the United Nations

Lieutenant Colonel Victor N. Sultanov, Second Secretary, Assistant, Representing the Russian Federation Armed Forces to the United Nations Military Staff Committee, delegated by HE. Mr. Sergey V Lavrov, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the
United Nations

HE. Dr. Lamuel A. Stanislaus, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Grenada to the United Nations

Mr. Phakiso Mochochoko, Counsellor, delegated by HE .Mr. Percy Metsing Mangoela, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Lesotho to the United Nations

HE. Mr. Jacques Louis Boisson, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Monaco to the United Nation

Mrs. Stéphanie Mory, Political Affairs Officer, delegated by Mr. Bernard Miyet, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Keeping Operations of the United Nations

Captain Royal Navy (Retired) David J. Thompson, Principal Secretary, Liaison Office of Military Staff Committee, Department of Political Affairs of the United Nations

Captain John D. Zarkowsky, MSC, USN,CHE Hospital Ship Projects Manager, Captain John A. Mitas, Medical Corps, USN, Director CO, MTF Comfort and Captain John Cicchetti, Master USNS Comfort, Representing the US Navy Major Laurence R. Garell, Representative of the Salvation Army to United Nations

Dr. Hope P. White-Davis, President and Mr. Remigio Maradona, Senior Institutional Development Specialist of the World Association of Former United Nations Internes and Fellows to the United Nations

Mr. Anthony Palmiotti and Mr. Harold Fleureton, Representatives of the Maritime College SUNY (State University of New York

Mr. Salim Ramman, Representative of a group of businessmen from Kuwait

Dr. Victor de Ledinghen, hospital Expert of the New York Presbyterian Hospital and Cornell University

Mr. André Ferrara, Representative of the French War Veteran Association in New York

M. Michel Thao Chan, President of the Administrative Board of the Unified Nations Cercle de Réflexion

Dr. Jean Luc Pérez, Vice Président, Co-Founder of the Unified Nations Cercle de Réflexion

Colonel (retired) Xavier Devaulx de Chambord, Vice President International of the Unified Nations Cercle de Réflexion

Mr. Bruce Boegline, Advisor to the Unified Nations Cercle de Réflexion

Mr. Christophe Chang, Secretary of the Unified Nations Cercle de Réflexion

The Permanent Representatives of Finland, France, Liechtenstein and the Netherlands, Mr. Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Political Affairs, Mr. Under- Secretary-General of the United Nations for Humanitarian Affairs, General Guilio Fraticelli and the International Organization of Francophonie excused themselves to be unable to attend these meetings because of their former engagements.
However, the meetings received their best wishes for success.

 

THE INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON EQUIVALENCE
AND MUTUAL RECOGNITION OF DIPLOMAS

1. Opening the Meeting (agenda item 1)

1.1 The Meeting was opened at 11.00 am by Mr. Thao Chan, President of Administrative Board of UNCR. With a few words of welcome, he called to order the International Meeting on Equivalence and Mutual Recognition of Diplomas.

1.2 Mr. Chan officially thanked UNESCO for sponsoring this meeting. Then he proposed the election of the President. Mr. Chan was elected by acclamation. He appointed Colonel Xavier Devaulx de Chambord as its Rapporteur.

1.3 The President suggested the adoption of the agenda starting with item 3. The agenda was adopted.

2. Inauguration of the UNCR Centre for the "Leaders Without Borders" and presentation of the "Peace Pyramid " ( agenda item 3)

2.1 The President stated that the problem of equivalence of diplomas has a direct incidence on the maintenance of peace in the world and that this reason led the Cercle de Réflexion to look further into an original concept of peace. He specified that this concept is not founded any more on the idea that " war is in the spirit of men " but that "peace is innate in the heart of men and that it is in the heart of men that peace must blossom ".

2.2. The Representative of the United Nations Department for Peace Keeping Operations pointed out that this concept is not new and that it has already been tested during the UN peace keeping operations.

2.3. The President then inaugurated officially the Centre of Peace for the "Leaders Without Borders ", which will train equally " messengers, builders and negotiators for peace " and it will be opened to the higher education graduates from any country in the world. He made clear that this formation will unroll over two years in New York, but also in the "Peace Pyramid" in Kuwait and on board of the hospital ship "L’Humanité I" in collaboration with the most famous universities.

2.4. The Representatives of the SUNY Maritime College proposed to contact the State University of New York in this perspective. The President added that at the conclusion of this formation " a Doctorate of Peace Administration" (DPA) will be delivered by the Unified Nations Cercle de Réflexion.

2.5. Mr. Chang then presented a model of the " Peace Pyramid". He insisted on the symbol which represents this pyramid, built in a country threatened by the war, and on the originality of "the double reversed pyramid" concept.

2.6. The Ambassador of Grenada stressed "it is right to keep peace, but before doing it, it is necessary to build peace, to do peace and then only to keep it". He approved the Peace Training Centre for the "Leaders without Borders" as well as the initiative of the "Peace Pyramid" in Kuwait; he asked how these projects will be financed. Mr. Ramman replied that the "Peace Pyramid" in Kuwait will help very much to stabilize peace between the countries of the Gulf area. He declared himself optimistic on the possibilities of financing this pyramid on the spot.

2.7. The Representative of Lesotho indicated that the "Peace Pyramid" must be initially established in Africa for "this continent is permanently torn by wars". Mr. Chan answered that others "Peace Pyramid" are considered, in particular in Africa. The Representative of WAFUNIF said that identical "Peace Pyramid" should be built at the same time on each continent.

2.8. The Representatives of Russia and Algeria considered that these initiatives are "very interesting ". The Ambassador of Grenada added that "his country is interested in every undertaking which has goal to promote peace" and that "his Government will be happy to help these
projects ". These opinions were shared by the Representative of Benin, who specified that "her country would be very happy to take part in these projects", and by the Representative of Lesotho who declared that "his country will support these projects, because nobody opposes to
initiative in favour of peace ".

3. Action of UNESCO in favour of the recognition of the diplomas among countries in the world (agenda item 2)

3.1 Mr. Pérez recalled "the important work done by UNESCO on recognition of diplomas "which led to the signature of six regional conventions signed between 1978 and 1983 by most of the countries in the world, conventions which could not be applied. He said that these intellectual barriers among the countries threaten peace, opinion shared by the Ambassador of Grenada who confirmed that "the absence of equivalence of the diplomas puts indeed peace in danger".

3.2 The Ambassador of Monaco said that he spent 25 years at UNESCO and that he found "a perfect dialogue between the representatives of the various countries". He noted that there is no major obstacle between the intellectuals themselves. He estimated that the barriers put on the
recognition of the diplomas "nowadays do not have any more raison to be especially because of the evolution of the means of communication".

3.3 The Representative of Benin emphasized that UNESCO must remain the main organization in which this question must be solved. She asked the Ambassador of Monaco why this problem have not been regulated until now.
He explained that this problem "exceeds the intellectual community because each government seeks to protect its patrimony and wants to avoid competition between national and foreign intellectuals ".

3.4 Mr. Pérez noted that this situation progresses very slowly and that peace, in the heart of this problem, remains the main objective of the Unified Nations Cercle de Réflexion. The Ambassadors of Monaco stressed the UNCR projects "correspond to the philosophy of the Government of Monaco".

3.5. The President noted the excellent welcome from the participants towards the Peace Training Centre for the "Leaders Without Borders" and the "Peace Pyramid" in Kuwait, and the perspective to have governmental support and participation in these projects for peace.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The International Meeting on Equivalence and the Mutual Recognition of Diplomas:

1. Notes, generally, the non-equivalence of diplomas among the countries and the fact that the persistence of this problem influences peace;

2. Favorably welcomes the Peace Training Centre for the "Leaders Without Borders" and "the Peace Pyramid" in Kuwait which will influence the recognition of diplomas among the countries and the maintenance of peace in the world;

3. Asks its President to contact the governments to obtain their supports and their participation in these great projects for peace.

3.6. The President closed the meeting at 1:00 pm.

 

THE SECOND MEETING OF THE SECURITY AND HEALTH COMMISSION OF THE
HOSPITAL-SHIP "L’HUMANITE I "

1. Opening the meeting ( agenda item 4)

1.1. Mr. Pérez, President of the first meeting of the Security and Health Commission declared open the second meeting of the Security and Health Commission of the hospital-ship "L’Humanité I" at 1:30 pm. The President was re-elected by acclamation. Colonel Devaulx de Chambord was nominated Rapporteur.

1.2. The President indicated that General Jean Cot, former Force Commander of the United Nations Protection Force in former Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR) and Honorary President of this Commission regretfully could not be at this meeting.

1.3. The President recalled that the Commission visited the French hospital-ship "La Foudre" in Kuwait City in last February with assistance of General Doctor Jacques de Saint Julien, General Inspector for Health Service in the French Navy.

1.4. The agenda was then adopted by the participants.

2. The concept of the humanitarian ship (agenda item 5)

2.1. The Representatives of the SUNY Maritime College exposed the concept of this humanitarian ship combining the "hospital-refugees" and an autonomous vessel presented like "a real city". Concerning the refugees, the Representative of the United Nations Military Staff Committee insisted on the need to consider for them a minimum of equipment. Mr. Ramman demanded that this concept of the ship must allow the approach of all kinds of harbour installations.

2.2. The Representative of the United Nations Department for Peace Keeping Operations posed the problem of the seriously sick refugees who must be put in "quarantine ". The US Navy representatives proposed to limit the risks of epidemic by adopting very strict rules of admission
of the patients on board.

2.3. The Ambassador of Grenada indicated that the Caribbean Islands possess a "Flotilla of medical ships" equipped by medical speciality.
He asked which type of financing is considered for this ship. Mr. Ramman answered" that the group of businessmen that he represents is very enthusiastic and that it should decide quickly ".

2.4. The US Navy Representatives insisted on the problem of transport of wounded by helicopters. They underlined that certain countries do not have a helicopter and that it will be necessary to envisage the access on board by small boats.

2.5. The President noted the observations of the Commission on the general concept of the ship presented by the SUNY Maritime College.

3. Choice of the United Nations flag like registration flag of the humanitarian hospital ship (agenda item 6)

3. 1. The President pointed out that the first Commission had decided that the country of registration of the humanitarian hospital ship had to be a "country of acceptable neutrality" and that it had submitted to the permanent missions to the United Nations a list of countries answering this criterion, but that it had not reached unanimity on this subject. He underlined that the United Nations flag would be the only one to achieve this unanimity, but because the United Nations does not
have fleet, therefore no regulation on international maritime standards.

3.2. The Ambassador of Monaco estimated that it is impossible to adopt the flag of the United Nations because of the absence of international maritime standards. He proposed to choose the flag of a neutral country which responds international maritime standards and then to place this
ship at the disposal of the United Nations, the flag of the United Nations would be chosen as second flag.

3.3. The Representative of the United Nations Military Staff Committee thought that it would be necessary to define exactly the characteristics of the ship according to its humanitarian objectives and then to choose as registration flag the one of a neutral country which meets these criteria.

3.4. The Representatives of the SUNY Maritime College specified that the flag needs to be accepted by the greatest number of standards, like, for example, the Bahamas flag. The President questioned the Ambassador of Monaco on the possibilities of registration of this ship in his country. The Ambassador responded that "his country has very strict international maritime standards and that it could easily register this humanitarian hospital-ship".

3.5. The Representatives of WAFUNIF pointed out that certain arrangements concerning the authorization to use the United Nations flag have been made in the past, for example for the United Nations High school or the Peace University in Costa Rica. The Ambassador of Monaco added that the United Nations flag on this ship should not pose any problem so far because the ship would already be registered in a neutral country which would meets the international maritime standards, all the more since the mission of the humanitarian ship corresponds to the "United Nations philosophy".

The Representative of Algeria indicated that the question of the United Nations flag had been studied in the case of a high readiness Brigade proposed by a Scandinavian country within the framework of the Special Committee of the Department for Peace Keeping Operations and that it had
been decided that this Brigade could not use the United Nations flag, except if it was put under control and command of the United Nations.

3.6. The Ambassador of Grenada suggested that the authorization to use the United Nations flag should be submitted to the United Nations Legal Department. The United Nations Department for Peace Keeping Operations Representative proposed that this authorization should rather be requested directly from the United Nations Secretary General.

3.7 The President proposed at the Commission to retain the opinion of the Department for Peace Keeping Operations Representative. This proposal is accepted.

4. Considerations to the security, safety and communication measures of the humanitarian hospital-ship ( agenda item 7 and 8)

4.1. The President recalled that the first Commission had decided that " the ship should not be armed " and " that it should be built like a civilian ship ", but taking advantage from "military technology for security, safety, health and communication equipment ".

4.2. Then was shown a video presentation of the USNS Comfort, hospital-ship of the US Navy, visited by the Commission in May 1999.

4.3. In the light of this video, Colonel Devaulx de Chambord examined the questions raised by the preliminary report/ratio about the safety, security, communication and health measures of the humanitarian hospital-ship. The US Navy Representatives analyzed successively the
following points, by estimating that:

- About " floating mines", the ship does not need any special protection because it will operate within the framework of a force including "mine clearer ships";

- About "armed aggressions from the coast, air or sea", the ship will have to be stationed in an acceptable operating zone far enough from armed aggressions;

- About " limitations of outside accesses to the ship", the vessel will have to be equipped with average electronic control of the passengers going up on board and the crew members will have to undergo a permanent training on this subject. The US Navy could place its means at the disposal of this ship;

- About "general reinforcement of the structure of the ship", it is not necessary to add armour plating which would weigh down the vessel considerably and would make him lose its mobility;

- About "installation of fire-fighting equipment", the ship must meet the international maritime standards and each crew member will have to undergo a specific and permanent training. The US Navy will also be able to help in this field;

- About "highly visible protection emblems", it will have to be in accordance to the Geneva Conventions;

- About "the use of means of communication", the recourse to military technology is inadvisable for "a neutral ship" because it could create confusion on behalf of certain belligerents which would
qualify it like warship;

- About "protection and safety teams", the ship will have to be integrated into combined forces. It will be protected and thus does not need to have its own protection and safety team;

- About "liaison officers", the ship must consider one or several liaison officers from its own crew, who will be in contact with other entities and protection teams of the combined forces.

Generally, the Representatives of US Navy insisted on the importance of the permanent training on safety measures to be followed by every crew member, whatever could be his responsibility.

The President proposed to retain the suggestions of the US Navy Representatives, which were highly welcomed by Commission. This proposal is accepted.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The Second Safety and Health Commission of the Hospital-ship "L'Humanité I":

1. Suggests that the humanitarian hospital-ship be registered in "a neutral country meeting the international maritime standards" and that the authorization to use the United Nations flag, as second flag, be directly requested from the United Nations Secretary General;

2. Proposes to give up military technology except in what relates to the hospital and safety on board and to privilege the permanent training of the crew and the hospital personnel. It accepts the assistance of the US Navy in this fields;

3. Notes the need for obtaining the protection of the combined Peace Keeping Forces when the ship is operating close to the war zone.

5. Closure of the debates (agenda item 10)

The president thanked the participants and recalled that "the advance of peace in the world lies in the will and the heart of the men ".

He closed the meeting at 3.30 pm.

Michel Thao Chan

President of the Meeting of Equivalence and Mutual Recognition of Diplomas

Jean Luc Pérez
President of the Second Meeting of Security and Health Commission of the hospital ship "L'Humanité I"