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ICRC’s major challenges

Reaching the victims of conflicts and ensuring respect of international humanitarian law have become “the two major challenges” to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), an ICRC press statement issued yesterday said, quoting its director of operations, Jean-Daniel Tauxe. Presenting an overview last Wednesday of humanitarian problems and the main challenges the ICRC was facing, he said the organisation’s impartiality, neutrality and independence were increasingly being challenged. Moreover, in conflicts, he said, the organisation found it difficult to act because of the need to ensure the safety of victims and humanitarian workers. Meanwhile, addressing the ICRC yesterday in Geneva, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said humanitarian work by both organisations had come under “unprecedented stress” in recent years, a UN press release said. The consequences, he added, had been needless suffering, prolonged crises and damage to the credibility of international institutions “and to the very idea of an international community”.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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