, term referring to rules governing diplomatic conduct or to a variety of written instruments. Examples of the latter are authenticated minutes of international conferences; preliminary agreements, or statements of principle, which eventuate in a formal treaty; and agreements that do not require ratification. Sometimes the term protocol
is applied to an agreement that in all essentials of form or content is similar to a treaty; an example of this was the Geneva Protocol approved by the Assembly of the League of Nations in 1924, which branded aggressive war an international crime. It provided that no signatory would engage in war with other signatories who observed their international obligations. Signatories were to participate in an international disarmament conference. The protocol was supported by most nations, but British refusal to support it in the League Council prevented it from coming into force. The Locarno Pact
and the Kellogg-Briand Pact
were later agreements having the general tenor of the Geneva Protocol. Diplomatic protocol is the code of international courtesy governing the conduct of those in the diplomatic service
or otherwise engaged in international relations. It is basically concerned with procedural matters and precedence among diplomats. Each office of foreign affairs (or equivalent body) has an official in charge of protocol.
See J. T. Shotwell, Plans and Protocols to End War (1925); J. R. Wood, Diplomatic Ceremonial and Protocol (1970); J. E. Lott, Practical Protocol: A Guide to International Courtesies (1973); P. Kattenburg, Diplomatic Practices (1980); M. McCaffree and P. Innes, Protocol (rev. ed. 1985).
Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fraudulent document that reported the alleged proceedings of a conference of Jews in the late 19th cent., at which they discussed plans to overthrow Christianity through subversion and sabotage and to control the world. The Protocols first appeared in their entirety in Russia in 1905. They were widely disseminated in the 1920s and became a classic defense for anti-Semitism. First published in the United States in 1920, the Protocols were championed by Henry Ford in his newspaper, the Dearborn Independent, and cited throughout the 1930s by some anti-Roosevelt and fascist groups. As early as 1921, the English journalist Philip Graves exposed the similarity between the Protocols and a political satire by Maurice Joly, Dialogue aux enfers entre Machiavel et Montesquieu (1864). Subsequent investigation showed the original document to be a forgery written by members of the Russian secret police.
See H. Bernstein, The Truth about the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” (1935, repr. 1972); N. Cohn, Warrant for Genocide (1967, repr. 1970).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
(1925; full name, Geneva Protocol on the Prohibition in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Such Gases and of Bacteriological Weapons), the principal international agreement concerning the prohibition of chemical and bacteriological warfare. The parties to the Geneva Protocol confirmed their recognition of the ban on the use of chemical weapons and agreed to extend this ban to bacteriological weapons. As of Jan. 1, 1972, the Geneva Protocol had been signed and ratified by 29 states, and 36 states had signed the protocol or acceded to it without ratifying it.
The USSR ratified the Geneva Protocol in 1928, making two reservations in signing it: first, the protocol would obli-gate the USSR government only with respect to states that have signed and ratified or definitively acceded to the protocol; second, the government of the USSR would cease to observe the protocol with respect to any enemy state whose armed forces or whose formal or de facto allies disregarded the prohibitory substance of the protocol. The term of the Geneva Protocol is unlimited, and the signatories have committed themselves to exert every effort to induce other coun-tries to accede to the protocol.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.