Humanitarian Diplomacy and Principled Humanitarian Action
Peter MaurerPresident, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
President, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and former Swiss Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
Auditorium Ivan Pictet
Maison de la paix, Geneva
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The evolving global environment in which humanitarian actors operate is posing profound challenges both in terms of complexity of major crises and their impact on affected people.
Taking in consideration this environment, the ICRC, with its track record of a 150 years of humanitarian practice, has to consider how to address these challenges while remaining faithful to its humanitarian principles, notably, Humanity, Neutrality, Impartiality and Independence.
On the occasion of this Graduate Institute Lecture, the ICRC will inaugurate a series of conversations across the globe on the contemporary challenges to principles guiding humanitarian action, leading up to the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva in December 2015.
This event will be streamed live on our youtube channel.
Peter Maurer was born in Thun, Switzerland, in 1956. He studied history and international law in Bern, where he was awarded a doctorate. In 1987 he entered the Swiss diplomatic service, where he held various positions in Bern and Pretoria before being transferred to New York in 1996 as deputy permanent observer at the Swiss mission to the United Nations.
In 2000 he was appointed ambassador and head of the human security division in the political directorate of the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs in Bern.
In 2004 Mr Maurer was appointed ambassador and permanent representative of Switzerland to the United Nations in New York. In this position, he worked to integrate Switzerland, which had only recently joined the United Nations, into multilateral networks.
In June 2009, the UN General Assembly elected Mr Maurer chairman of the Fifth Committee, in charge of administrative and budgetary affairs. In addition, he was elected chairman of the Burundi configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission.
In January 2010 Mr Maurer was appointed secretary of State for foreign affairs in Bern and took over the reins of the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs, with its five directorates and some 150 Swiss diplomatic missions around the world. He succeeded Jakob Kellenberger as ICRC president on 1 July 2012.