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A service for human rights researchers · Thursday, May 30, 2024 · 715,791,329 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

The foundation for political agreements for peace lies in humanity: ICRC Vice President

The annual event, centered on the theme "Asia and the World: Common Challenges, Shared Responsibilities," gathered some 2,000 leaders, politicians, scholars, and international organization representatives from across the globe. Held from March 26 to 29, the four-day conference aimed to foster unity and cooperation in addressing global challenges while promoting peace and prosperity.

During a panel on the global geopolitical outlook held on March 27, Gilles Carbonnier, Vice President of the ICRC, delivered a keynote speech and joined the discussion on the topic. He highlighted the escalating global geopolitical competition and the challenges it presents, including the multiplication of armed conflicts and compounding crises, violations of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL), and the escalating risks posed by digital transformation, such as cyber-attacks and disinformation.

There are more than 100 armed conflicts ongoing globally. Many with of these armed conflicts are increasingly protracted and urbanized, and are compounded by climate shocks, food insecurity and economic hardship. These situations have a devastating impact on already vulnerable communities.


ICRC Vice President Gilles Carbonnier at the panel on Global Geopolitical Outlook during the Boao Forum for Asia on March 27, 2024. PHOTO: BFA

In his address, Carbonnier elaborated on four critical elements to tackle the challenges of global geopolitics: respecting IHL, supporting neutral humanitarian actors, making needs-based funding decisions, and fostering partnerships between humanitarian and development actors. He emphasized that the foundation for political agreements preserving peace lies in humanity, stating, "In the many steps to peace, the first ones are always humanitarian."

He particularly elaborated on the relevance of the Geneva Conventions given that this year is the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the international legal instrument. The Conventions form the strongest universal consensus we have – their rules are utterly clear and still relevant. They provide concrete protection for people affected by armed conflicts. They help prevent and minimize the human cost of war, he said.

On the sidelines of the forum, Carbonnier engaged with notable interlocutors, including Li Baodong, Secretary-General of the BFA, Dilma Rousseff, President of the New Development Bank, Wang Huiyao, President of the Center for China and Globalization, and Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary-General of ASEAN. These discussions focused on exploring potential cooperation in various mutual interest areas, addressing critical humanitarian issues, and enhancing collaboration between the ICRC and regional organizations.

The BFA has historically served as a platform for diplomatic exchanges and discussions, convening leaders and stakeholders to seek solutions to common challenges and advance regional and global cooperation. ICRC has been regularly participating and engaging with BFA in recent years to raise awareness for humanitarian issues.


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