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New members of the International Committee of the Red Cross

30-06-1997 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 318

At its meetings on 4 July 1996 and 24 April 1997, the Assembly of the International Committee of the Red Cross elected three new members of the Committee:

Mr. Jean-Roger Bonvin

Mr. Peter Arbenz

Mr. Jakob Nüesch


This brings the membership of the Committee to 21 members.

 Jean-Roger Bonvin , Swiss citizen, was born in 1934. He has a doctorate in economics from the University of St. Gallen. He worked for UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning and was then sent by the Swiss Development Cooperation Agency to head the Economics Faculty of the University of Burundi, a position which he held from 1970 to 1979, while serving as Swiss Honorary Consul in the country. In 1980 Mr. Bonvin joined the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, where he ran the research programme on North-South relations; he was subsequently appointed Director of the OECD Development Centre, and became its President on 1994. He has also given lectures in development economics at the Universities of Paris V, Lille and Lausanne.

The mandate of Mr. Bonvin as a member of the ICRC began on 1 August 1996.

 Peter Arbenz , Swiss citizen, born in 1937, holds a degree in economics. He served as a member of the ICRC from 1983 to 1 986, when he was appointed Swiss Federal Council Delegate for Refugee Affairs and Director of the Federal Office for Refugees. In 1993 Mr Arbenz became Adviser for Strategic and Enterprise Development. In his capacity as brigadier-general in the Swiss Army, he served as an inspector with UNPROFOR in the former Yugoslavia in 1994, and in 1996 was appointed personal adviser on Bosnia-Herzegovina to the Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Mr Arbenz is chairman of the Zurich branch of the Swiss Red Cross.

The mandate of Mr Arbenz as a member of the ICRC begins on 1 January 1998.

 Professor Jakob Nüesch , Swiss citizen, born in 1932, holds a degree in agricultural engineering (1958) and a doctorate in technical sciences from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (1960). In 1972 he was awarded a post-doctorate teaching degree in microbiology by the University of Basel and taught there as a lecturer, becoming Professor of Microbiology in 1978. Since 1961, Mr Nüesch has been working for Ciba. Initially head of microbiological and biochemical research, he became a director of Ciba-Geigy in 1987 and has since been in charge of the biotechnology department and pharmaceutical research. In 1990 the Swiss Federal Council nominated Professor Nüesch as President of the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

The mandate of Professor Nüesch as a member of the ICRC begins on 1 July 1997.

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