Mirjana Spoljaric, president of the ICRC, participated in the opening ceremony of the European Humanitarian Forum 2023. Andrea SCIORATO/ICRC

ICRC emphasizes humanitarian access and IHL at EHF 2023

The second edition of the European Humanitarian Forum was held in Brussels, Belgium, on 20 and 21 March 2023.
Article 27 March 2023 Belgium

The conference is jointly organized by the European Commission (DG ECHO, Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations ) and the Swedish government, currently holding presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU).

In the context of unprecedented humanitarian needs across the world because of conflict and climate related-crises, the EHF aims to strengthen cooperation and partnership among countries affected by crises and with donors, influential people and organizations, the EU and its member states.

Under the title "New Global Realities, Shaping Humanitarian Action Together", European Humanitarian Forum (EHF) 2023 focused on issues relating to the funding gap (the difference between available funds and the resources needed to adequately respond to crises and emergencies) and on access (the possibility for humanitarian organizations to reach the communities most in need wherever they are in the world).

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) participated in the conference with various speakers including Mirjana Spoljaric, president of the ICRC, participating in the opening ceremony.

Humanitarian needs are dynamic and increasing. Considering the protracted funding gap, people's needs must guide humanitarian funding decisions, with no crisis left aside. Humanitarian assistance alone will neither bring lasting peace nor salvage failing economies.

Mirjana Spoliaric, President of the ICRC

In other sessions, we focused on issues relating to international humanitarian law (IHL) and our representatives shared their expertise on topics such as the protection of civilians in urban warfare and accountability mechanisms.

We also participated in the EHF exhibition with a virtual reality stand, cutting-edge technology that the ICRC uses both in training and for humanitarian diplomacy.