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Hungary: Red Cross celebrations

17-06-2009 News Release 09/125

Budapest (ICRC) – Direct participation in armed conflict, private security companies and prosecuting war crimes in domestic courts. These are a few of the topics at today’s panel discussion on current challenges to international humanitarian law (IHL), held at the Central European University in Budapest and attended by experts from Hungary, Switzerland and elsewhere.

" States in Central Europe have done a great job so far in meeting their obligations arising from IHL treaties, " said Reka Varga, legal advisor at the ICRC Regional Delegation in Budapest. " One of their most important future tasks will be to ensure effective domestic prosecution of war crimes. "

The panel discussion was the first of a number of events in Budapest to mark the 150th anniversary of the battle of Solferino, the 90th anniversary of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions.

From 16 to 20 June, a series of public events jointly organized by the Hungarian Red Cross, the Federation, the ICRC and the Swiss embassy in Hungary will bring together volunteers, authorities, academics and public at various venues in the Hungarian capital. Film screenings, the " Humanity in War " photo exhibition and the Hungarian Red Cross Folk Festival will highlight challenges faced by people in need, in Hungary and throughout the world. The emphasis will be on what ordinary people can do to change lives and on the contribution made by the volunteers and supporters of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Zoltan Toth, ICRC Budapest, tel: +36 20 249 99 86