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Mexico: ICRC president meets president of Mexico and addresses regional conference

06-08-2007 News Release 07/90

Geneva/Mexico City (ICRC) – Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), is in Mexico City for a three-day visit during which he will meet the president of Mexico and several government ministers and participate in a regional conference on international humanitarian law (IHL).

In addition to meeting President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, Mr Kellenberger will be holding talks with the Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Patricia Espinosa, the Secretary of National Defence, Guillermo Galván Galván, and the Secretary of Public Security, Genaro García Luna. He will also meet the President of the Mexican Red Cross, Daniel Goñi Díaz.

During his talks with the authorities, Mr Kellenberger will focus on the ICRC's most important humanitarian operations in situations of armed conflict worldwide, and on the challenges faced by the organization, especially regarding IHL. The ICRC president will take the opportunity to thank the Mexican authorities for their important work on promoting IHL, and will encourage them to consider ratifying additional IHL treaties.

Mr Kellenberger will also address a regional forum to mark the 30th anniversary of the Additional Protocols of 1977 – key IHL treaties that aim to mitigate the impact of armed conflict on civilians. The event is being co-hosted by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Organization of American States and the ICRC. Over 60 government officials and legal experts from countries of the Americas will debate how best to integrate key elements of IHL into national legislation. Discussions will focus on such vital issues as the prosecution of war crimes, limiting the use of weapons that cause unnecessary suffering, and people missing in connection with armed conflict.

Apart from raising awareness of IHL, the ICRC in Mexico regularly visits people detained for alleged links with opposition groups and those arrested following social tensions in the state of Oaxaca and the municipality of Atenco in the s tate of Mexico. The aim of the visits is to monitor the treatment and living conditions of the detainees.

In addition to Mexico, the ICRC's regional delegation in Mexico City covers eight countries in Central America and the Caribbean.

  For further information, please contact:
  Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel +41 22 730 24 58 or +41 79 217 32 24
  Julio César Torres, ICRC Mexico, tel +52 555 2581 2110 or +52 155 3560 1444