Our Director Professor Gaggioli Participated in the European Humanitarian Forum

24 March 2022

Our Director Professor Gloria Gaggioli participated – along with our Executive Director Maud Bonnet – in the European Humanitarian Forum that took place in Brussels from 21 to 23 March 2022 in Brussels and online.

Organized by the European Commission and France, it gathered policy-makers, humanitarian partners and other stakeholders for a more sustained dialogue on humanitarian policy and strategy.

Participation in the Ministerial Session on Improving Compliance with IHL

Professor Gaggioli notably intervened on at the Ministerial Session on improving compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL) to safeguard the humanitarian space.

Other speakers included the European Commissioner for Crisis Response, the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, the Director General of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, and the Chair of the European Parliament’s Sub-committee on Human Rights.

‘It is a unique opportunity to exchange around the need to improve compliance with IHL with such a high-level panel and bring the Geneva Academy’s expertise and suggestions regarding new ways to improve the monitoring and reporting on IHL violations’ underlines Professor Gaggioli.

Engaging with non-State Armed Groups

Professor Gaggioli also spoke at a session on the importance of engaging with non-state armed groups in armed conflicts, in order to ensure access to civilians living under their control and the provision of humanitarian aid.

‘We witness a worrying shrinking of the humanitarian space, especially in the context of the fight against terror: today more than ever, we need to reiterate that humanitarian action is impossible without the engagement of non-State armed groups’ says Professor Gaggioli.

‘At the Geneva Academy, we have been conducting research for more than 10 years on armed non-State actors (ANSAs) and are one of the leading research institutions on their study. Our current project – From Words to Deeds – aims precisely at increasing our knowledge of ANSAs’ perceptions and understanding of their international obligations. Its results will notably provide tools to humanitarian organizations to engage with and encourage ANSAs to abide by the law’ she adds.

‘‘Armed groups’ views on key humanitarian norms is often overlooked because of the state-centered nature of the international legal system. It is however essential to collect their perception and interpretation of these norms to understand their difficulties or unwillingness to respect the law in practice’  adds Dr Annyssa Bellal who is directing the project and also a Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy and Senior Researcher at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. 

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