ICRC head asks to protect principled humanitarian action

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-02 06:28:57|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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UNITED NATIONS, April 1 (Xinhua) -- Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Monday asked the international community to protect principled humanitarian action.

"Throughout ICRC's operations, we see that neutral, independent and impartial humanitarian action has the best chance to reach those most in need. It is also a tried and tested formula to prevent humanitarian action being appropriated for larger and more controversial political agendas. Yet in many places across the world, the space for impartial humanitarian action is under threat," said ICRC President Peter Maurer.

"It is the task of the international community to fiercely defend and protect principled humanitarian action," he told the Security Council.

Maurer asked to fight any attempt to instrumentalize, manipulate or politicize principled humanitarian action. Humanitarian access must not be unlawfully denied or withheld, especially when people's basic needs are going unmet, he said.

"Our license to operate should not be up for debate: it has already been guaranteed. The mission to protect and aid civilians during times of armed conflict was universally agreed 70 years ago in the Geneva Conventions. We call on states to step forward and reaffirm this mission, not only in words but through urgent and concrete actions," said Maurer.