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Minister Flanagan to meet with Peter Maurer, ICRC President

Minister Charles Flanagan, Minister Joe McHugh, Press Releases, Ireland, 2016

 

Minister Flanagan to meet with Peter Maurer, ICRC President

• Minister to emphasise the importance of ICRC’s role in ensuring that Ireland’s humanitarian assistance reaches communities in need

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D. will this afternoon, Monday 21 November, meet with President Peter Maurer of the International Committee of the Red Cross to discuss Ireland’s partnership with ICRC, one of the world oldest and most respected humanitarian organisations. 

Speaking in advance of his meeting with President Maurer, Minister Flanagan said:

“The ICRC is an important humanitarian partner for Ireland. Irish Aid provided a total of €140 million in humanitarian assistance globally in 2015 and funding in 2016 is likely to match this. Of this total, the ICRC has received €12m so far in 2016 from the Irish Government and this funding is a testament to the effectiveness of the ICRC in operating in some of the most difficult environments in the world. Their ability to continue to deliver aid to the Syrian people living under siege in appalling conditions is an incredible testament to their capacities and dedication.

“The visit of President Maurer will enhance the strong and productive relationship between the Irish Government and the ICRC in the years to come across all of our policy objectives. In particular I look forward to discussions with President Maurer on issues including humanitarian assistance in places such as Aleppo, international humanitarian law and disarmament."

Minister Joe McHugh, who will meet with Peter Maurer on Tuesday morning, said:

“We are living through an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe and the ICRC is central to Ireland’s response. In addition to core funding, Ireland provided funding through the ICRC which was earmarked for some of the largest crises today; in Syria, South Sudan and Nigeria. Working with partners like the ICRC enables our funding to reach those most in need as quickly and effectively as possible.”

ENDS

Press Office

21 November 2016

Notes to the Editor:

  • Irish Aid provided €140 million in humanitarian assistance in 2015 and funding in 2016 is likely to match this.
  • Humanitarian funding is provided through the UN, international organisations and NGOs.
  • Ireland has provided €20 million to the Syria crisis in 2016, and €62 million since 2012. This is our single largest humanitarian response.
  • This is President Maurer’s first visit to Ireland since taking up his role as President of the ICRC.
  • President Maurer will also meet with President Higgins, Minister of State McHugh and the Joint Committee for Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • The ICRC, founded in 1863, is an independent, neutral Swiss organisation which provides humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of war and armed violence. It also has a permanent mandate under the Geneva Conventions to take impartial action for prisoners, the wounded and sick, and civilians affected by conflict. It also plays a specific role as the guardian of International Humanitarian Law.
  • President Maurer will deliver a lecture as part of the Iveagh House Commemorations lecture series. The lecture – titled The Casement Lecture: Rising to the Humanitarian Challenge is in memory of Roger Casement, Ireland’s first humanitarian. President Maurer will speak about the difficult work undertaken by the ICRC and what they are doing to assist those in need in the worsening humanitarian crises worldwide.
  • Humanitarian principles, which have their origins in the Red Cross’s Fundamental Principles, are basic to how all humanitarian organisations work. In line with these principles, ICRC is strictly neutral and impartial, and some of its work in conflict situations is deliberately low profile, in order not to jeopardise its access. The ICRC has no political agenda and this is crucial to its ability to secure humanitarian access