Armenia: ICRC marks 30 years of humanitarian action
The ICRC launched its activities in Armenia and across the region in 1992, in response to the humanitarian impact of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Thirty years later, people continue to suffer from the impact of the conflict in all areas of their lives and our work to help them remains as relevant as ever.
To mark the three decades of our work in the region and reiterate our commitment to those affected by conflict, the Armenia delegation organized a large public awareness campaign between October and December 2022. The campaign included being featured in local media and social media channels, advertisements in Yerevan and public events in Yerevan, Kapan and Vardenis cities.
In Yerevan, we organized a concert and an exhibition entitled "30 years in 30 photos". Around 100 people, representing state authorities, international community, civil society, academia and beneficiaries, attended the event.
Sevak Avanesyan, renowned cellist and winner of numerous national and international competitions, performed at the concert. He notes.
Music provides an opportunity to enrich people and heal their souls. Like the ICRC, a musician is also doing humanitarian work. If all the weapons in the world were replaced by musical instruments, there would be no wars.
ICRC staff member Armen Karamyan, who has worked with the organization for 30 years, also played the piano at the three events in Yerevan, Kapan and Vardenis.
"Nothing can be taken for granted, and certainly not humanity. War is its worst enemy. We have been acting as a neutral intermediary between the sides when needed, promoting international humanitarian law (IHL) and working with people in need of support. For 30 years, the ICRC has endeavoured to preserve a space for humanity across the region. We have been striving to mitigate and address some of the humanitarian consequences of the decades-long conflict," said Thierry Ribaux, head of the ICRC delegation in Armenia, in his welcome address.
"Now more than ever, the world is witnessing widespread violations of international humanitarian law, disregard for human dignity and humanitarian crises. Consequently, the challenge is to not only promote humanitarian law but to also ensure its implementation. The ICRC plays an important role in this," said Vahe Gevorgyan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia.
Following the concert, the audience was invited to visit the past through a photo exhibition that showcased 30 years of the ICRC's humanitarian activity in Armenia in 30 shots. They also had the opportunity to be hands on and help weave the ICRC's logo on a carpet.
In 2023, we continue to work across the region, addressing old and new challenges alike, aimed at bringing hope and humanity to people affected by hostilities.