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Brazil: ICRC president meets senior officials to discuss humanitarian challenges

20-08-2009 News Release 09/165

Brasilia (ICRC) – The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Jakob Kellenberger, is in Brasilia for meetings with Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, Justice Minister Tarso Genro, Defence Minister Nelson Jobim, President of the Senate José Sarney and other government officials.

The visit marks the start of a regular high-level dialogue between Brazil and the ICRC on humanitarian challenges worldwide resulting from armed conflicts and other situations of violence. Specific ICRC operations, broad humanitarian issues and questions relating to international humanitarian law will be discussed. Special attention will be paid to Latin American contexts.

Later today, Mr Kellenberger will open the " Humanity in War " photo exhibition at the National Museum of the Cultural Complex of the Republic. The exhibition was organized to mark the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, which place limits on how war is waged.

The ICRC first opened an office in Brazil in 1991 with the aim of helping that country incorporate the rules of international humanitarian law into domestic legislation and into the operational guidelines of its armed forces. Since 2008, with support from the Brazilian Red Cross, the ICRC has been carrying out health campaigns for residents of some of the most destitute areas (favelas) of Rio de Janeiro.

As a part of its efforts to promote compliance with humanitarian principles and other international standards applicable to the use of force, the ICRC has also been training over 1,000 police instructors throughout Brazil and promoting the integration of these norms into police practice.

  For further information, please contact:
  Sandra Lefcovich, ICRC Brasilia, tel: +55 61 32 48 02 50 or +55 61 81 22 01 19
  Marcal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 2458 or +41 79 217 3224