General  Debate - 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red  Crescent General Debate - 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent

Permanent Mission of India


General Debate - 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
[8 December2015]


Statement by India delivered by H.E. Mr. Ajit Kumar,

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India 



Madam Chair


At the outset, our warm felicitations and congratulations on your appointment as the Chair of the 32nd International Conference.


This Conference is significant, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. We thank ICRC President Peter Maurer, and IFRC President Tadateru Konoe, and their able teams, as well as the Standing Commission for their tireless efforts in preparing for this important Conference.


Complex humanitarian emergencies and turbulent times around the world present a challenging environment for the international community to respond. ICRC's role as an intermediary and humanitarian partner has proven, time and again, crucial in addressing the current day complex conflict situations. National Societies have also proven their immense contribution in this connection.


Madam Chair,


India greatly values the independent and impartial role of the ICRC in alleviating the sufferings of victims of armed conflict. ICRC's adherence to its mandate and core principles of neutrality, independence and confidentiality, remain paramount. These principles guarantee the unique status of the ICRC among other humanitarian actors, which need to be preserved.


Madam Chair,


India strongly believes in respect for compliance with international humanitarian law. Being Party to all the four Geneva Conventions, India is committed and has consistently supported its compliance. We believe that IHL and the existing mechanisms remains the most appropriate framework for regulating the conduct of parties to armed conflict and providing protection for the persons affected. The need of the hour is to improve the existing mechanisms to ensure greater respect for and compliance of the IHL. This should be the focus of our collective efforts.


Indian Red Cross Society has become an indispensible humanitarian support within the country. We are deeply shaken by the sad demise of Secretary-General of the Indian Red Cross Society Dr. Satya Paul Agarwal, a well-known public health administrator, who led the Society with passion and commitment for over a decade.


Madam Chair,


We appreciate the humanitarian concerns highlighted in the run up to the Conference. Further strengthening IHL for protecting persons deprived of their liberty in Non-International Armed Conflict (NIAC) situations, entails proper implementation of the existing protections.


Strengthening the capacity and provision of adequate funding of national institutions dealing with security and justice sectors is critical. International community should step up to the plate and partner with national authorities, at their request, to strengthen their capacities.


Humanitarian access for populations affected by armed conflict has to be ensured, including through safety nets for volunteers. Humanitarian actors need to work in accordance with the applicable legal frameworks, and should not provide legitimacy, even inadvertently, for operational space for terrorists or armed groups.


Madam Chair,


Sexual and gender-based violence in conflict situations must be promptly investigated and perpetrators prosecuted in accordance with respective laws. We should collectively ensure that stigmatization of victims, trivialization of crime and impunity of perpetrators are stopped.


Finally, Madam Chair, we looking forward to productive deliberations during the Conference.


I thank you, Madam Chair.