Strengthening international humanitarian law: Switzerland participates in the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent

Press release, 27.11.2019

Following a decision by the Federal Council on 27 November, Switzerland will participate in the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva from 9 to 12 December. Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis will lead the Swiss delegation. Switzerland is committed to strengthening compliance with international humanitarian law, one of the key issues to be addressed at the conference. Switzerland also supports the use of new technologies to ensure faster and more efficient humanitarian responses.

The 196 signatories to the Geneva Conventions and the partners of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are convening in Geneva between 9 and 12 December for the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The International Conference regularly achieves considerable progress in strengthening humanitarian principles, international humanitarian law, the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, disaster risk reduction and cooperation within the Movement. Under the banner 'Act today, shape tomorrow', the conference will focus on the opportunities and risks posed by digitalisation and building trust in humanitarian action among affected communities, the general public and donors. The conference will also provide an opportunity to find solutions to complex challenges such as urbanisation and climate change and the humanitarian fallout.

An important part of Switzerland's humanitarian tradition
The Conference has been held in Switzerland every four years since 1986. Switzerland has traditionally supported this important event, including financially, which attracts upwards of 3,000 participants. As depositary state of the Geneva Conventions and host state for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Switzerland has special ties to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The Movement is a key actor in responding to humanitarian crises and encompasses the ICRC, the IFRC and all 191 national Red Cross Societies, which operate through nearly 14 million volunteers around the globe.  A 'humanitarian tour' designed to raise public awareness of humanitarian action will be available in Geneva both prior to and during the conference.

Address for enquiries:

FDFA Information
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The Federal Council
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs