GENEVA, DECEMBER 9TH- For the 33rd Red Cross and Red Crescent Conference opening today in Geneva, Italy -which has always responded to the needs of the most vulnerable categories in areas of conflict- presented an ‘open pledge’ promising to undertake all action required to guarantee the safety and fundamental rights of children, including those living in conflict zones.
Open to the adhesion of other Countries, Italy’s pledge aims to protect children from violence through a variety of initiatives, namely allowing for continued education, helping humanitarian operations access children in war zones, and promoting information campaigns against child recruitment in conflict. The hope is for Italy’s pledge to collect a high number of adhesions and thereby come to represent a concrete step towards a world where all children can grow free from abuses and violence, and have the opportunity to learn and develop their personality, even in conflict zones.
The Red Cross and Red Crescent Conference is the most prominent forum for global discussion on International Humanitarian Law: the bundle of norms which during a conflict protect civil society, also through regulations on weapons, methods and means of war. Italy actively participated in the preparatory efforts for the Conference, which meets every four years. This year’s Conference will offer the opportunity to reflect on the new and complex challenges emerging from armed conflicts, like the proliferation of state unrelated military groups and the difficulty of guaranteeing safety for humanitarian workers. Throughout the Conference will be taking place multiple debates and events, alongside the negotiation of themed resolutions.
“Italy promotes with conviction the development and the application of International Humanitarian Law, in the firm belief that respect is an essential condition for a guaranteed return to peace, security and stability after war, and thereby the harmonious growth of all world populations,” writes Italy’s Permanent Delegation in Geneva in a note: “We believe it’s fundamental for the parties involved in armed conflict to respect the limits set by international law. It’s furthermore fundamental -for the justice of the victims and to have a deterrent effect- that those responsible for International Humanitarian Law violations are called to respond to their crimes, also through the action of the International Criminal Court.
In light of the “Solferino Spirit”, Italy’s humanitarian action is inspired by the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, through the support of numerous initiatives aimed at guaranteeing the respect of International Humanitarian Law. Italy is part of the most important International Conventions on the subject, and promotes International Humanitarian Law with determination across all international forums. (SB@OnuItalia)