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Peter Maurer Commemorative Lecture

On Monday 21st November as part of the centenary celebrations a lecture entitled 'A Casement Lecture: Rising to the Humanitarian Challenge' was delivered by President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer to an invited audience as part of the Iveagh House Lecture Series.

Watch the short version of 'A Casement Lecture: Rising to the Humanitarian Challenge'

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organisation whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance. The ICRC also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the Geneva Conventions and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It directs and coordinates the international activities conducted by the Movement in armed conflicts and other situations of violence.

The ICRC has served as the guardian of international humanitarian law for over 150 years, and has invaluable knowledge of the legal framework within which the international humanitarian organisations work. The 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols give the ICRC a unique role in connection with humanitarian law and practice: as guardian, an advocate and an adviser to governments.

Watch the full length version of 'A Casement Lecture: Rising to the Humanitarian Challenge'

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has a longstanding partnership with the ICRC in a range of areas. Ireland's funding to the ICRC supports its work in humanitarian diplomacy as well as the provision of life-saving assistance such as health, water and sanitation and protection services. In 2016 funding has been allocated to ICRC's humanitarian activities inside Syria and the neighbouring countries, Nigeria and South Sudan. In total Ireland will have provided almost €100 million in funding to the ICRC since 2006. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade also works with the ICRC on issues of international humanitarian law and disarmament.

As Secretary General Niall Burgess commented 'in 2016, the centenary of the death of Roger Casement, who dedicated so much of his life to promoting the welfare of his fellow human beings, that we have the opportunity to listen to Mr Peter Maurer, the President of the ICRC on rising to such challenges today'. The lecture was followed by a Q&A session moderated by Secretary General Niall Burgess.