Geneva: Canton pledges support for victims of "neglected conflicts"
10-02-2004 News Release 04/09
Geneva (ICRC) – On 10 February the International Solidarity Service of the canton of Geneva, which is celebrating its first anniversary, signed an agreement with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) pledging assistance for the victims of "forgotten conflicts."
During a ceremony attended by Carlo Lamprecht, head of the Department of Economics, Employment and External Affairs, and ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger, the canton of Geneva formally agreed to donate three million Swiss francs per year to the ICRC for its activities on behalf of people who are caught up in armed conflicts that have been neglected by the international community and remain largely unknown to the public.
Mr Lamprecht stressed the importance of the support and protection provided by the ICRC for tens of thousands of people who, in the face of widespread indifference, suffer in silence as armed conflicts take their deadly toll. " Geneva has a long tradition of solidarity with all those who are deprived, " he said. " By supporting the ICRC's work, we intend to make a tangible and lasting commitment to ensuring respect for the dignity of all human beings, whatever the circumstances giving rise to their needs. "
Welcoming the canton's spirit of solidarity with those who are most vulnerable in wartime,
Mr Kellenberger said: " The conflicts referred to as'forgotten'are never far from the minds of those who suffer their consequences. The ICRC has a duty to remain at the victims'side, especially when the rest of the world retreats into indifference or appears powerless, and the major commitment made by the canton of Geneva will strengthen the ICRC's ability to provide the necessary assistance. "
Advisory: the agreement is to be signed in the presence of the media on 10 February at 11 a.m. at ICRC headquarters (19 Avenue de la Paix, 1202 Geneva).
For further information, please contact:
Maria Jesus Alonso Lormand, International Solidarity Service, DAE / DEEE, tel.: 022 388 1540
Antonella Notari, ICRC Geneva, tel.: 022 730 2282 or 079 217 3280