International Humanitarian Law and Current Conflicts: New Dilemmas and Challenges for Humanitarian Organizations
October 29, 2001 - 9:00am - November 2, 2001 - 5:00pm
Meredith, NH, United States
HPCR co-sponsored with the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), and with the cooperation of the Human Rights Program of Harvard Law School, an advanced seminar on “International Humanitarian Law and Current Conflicts: New Dilemmas and Challenges for Humanitarian Organizations.” The five-day seminar (29 October –2 November 2001) involved distinguished faculty from the sponsoring and cooperating institutions, as well as invited experts from the UN, NGOs, the media, and the military. 28 mid-to senior level participants were selected from humanitarian and human rights organizations worldwide, including representatives of Oxfam, ICRC, International Rescue Committee, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, U.S. Agency for International Development, UNICEF, Action Contre la Faim, Médecins Sans Frontières, and International Medical Corps. The seminar provided participants with an opportunity to consider the relevance of international humanitarian law (IHL), largely developed in the context of interstate conflict, in light of current realities, and to develop strategies for negotiating the new intrastate conflict terrain. Sessions addressed such wide-ranging topics as multilateral interventions in humanitarian emergencies, engaging non-state actors, humanitarian negotiations, and the tension between individual accountability and communal reconciliation in the post-conflict environment. The success of this first collaboration has led Harvard and the ICRC to consider making the seminar an annual event.