Press release | Date: 04/12/2003
In Norway’s main statement State Secretary Helgesen underscored that states must help to establish a security environment that makes it possible to provide humanitarian aid. (05.12.03)
Norway’s main statement at the 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent
State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vidar Helgesen is heading the Norwegian delegation to the 28 th> International Conference of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, which is being held in Geneva on 2-6 December. The conference, which is held every fourth year, brings together representatives from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and all the states that are party to the Geneva Conventions to discuss humanitarian issues of common interest.
In Norway’s main statement to the Conference the 3 December, Mr Helgesen underscored that states have a responsibility to prevent conflict and resolve conflicts by peaceful means. States must respect humanitarian law. They must give humanitarian organisations access to those who are suffering. And they must help to establish a security environment that makes it possible to provide humanitarian aid.
He expressed outrage at the fact that humanitarian actors are being deliberately targeted in some areas today. He stressed that governments must not take lightly those who perpetrate such acts, and that this involves much more than providing physical security for humanitarian agencies.
International agencies must take a closer look at how they operate on the ground in order to ensure legitimacy and local support. We also need a more thorough analysis of how humanitarian actors and military/peace-keeping forces can best interact to increase security and access to vulnerable groups without compromising the integrity of international agencies. Here traditional donor countries have a need for a closer dialogue with non-western states and organisations.