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Opinions & Interviews

2 Nov 2016

Red Cross eager to continue cooperation with Belarus

Red Cross eager to continue cooperation with Belarus

MINSK, 2 November (BelTA) – Head of the regional delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Russia, Belarus, and Moldova Magne Barth expressed hope for further cooperation with Belarus in implementing the international humanitarian law, BelTA learned from the website of the Belarusian Justice Ministry after Magne Barth met with Belarusian Justice Minister Oleg Slizhevsky.

The Red Cross representative spoke in glowing terms about efforts of the commission on implementing international humanitarian law under the aegis of the Belarusian government. Oleg Slizhevsky is the commission’s chairman. Magne Barth expressed hope that this constructive cooperation would continue.

While discussing cooperation plans, the sides reached an agreement on organizing a regular regional seminar in Belarus in 2017 to discuss the implementation of international humanitarian law. Every year the seminar gathers representatives of government agencies, the scientific community of various countries as well as experts of international organizations.

The International Committee of the Red Cross supports the Belarusian Society of the Red Cross (BSRC) in spreading the word about fundamental principles of the Red Cross movement and international humanitarian law. The International Committee of the Red Cross also helps the Belarusian agency to prepare for operating in emergencies. Assistance is also provided with teaching first medical aid skills to Belarusians. Assistance is provided for the sake of helping vulnerable migrants and for restoring family ties, primarily by looking up information about family members lost during World War Two. The total budget of joint programs has reached €817,000 this year.

Cooperation between the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Belarusian Society of the Red Cross began over 20 years ago. Magne Barth was put in charge of the ICRC delegation in Russia, Belarus, and Moldova in August 2016. Prior to that he worked as head of the delegations in Islamabad, Bagdad, and Damascus. He worked as a crisis management coordinator for the last two years.

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