Can the Geneva Conventions Still Protect Civilians and Non-Combatants in Contemporary Warfare?


Witnessing the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino (Italy) propelled Genevan businessman Henry Dunant to create the Red Cross in 1863. A year later, sixteen European states adopted the first Geneva Convention, a revolutionary treaty designed to save lives and alleviate the suffering of combatants during armed conflict. Today, the humanitarian principles of the Red Cross and major relief agencies are greatly challenged by the changing nature of warfare around the world. The distinction between combatant and noncombatant has blurred to the extent that it is increasingly difficult to distinguish one from the other. What becomes then of impartiality, neutrality, and the humane treatment of victims, the core principles of the Red Cross and of humanitarian law which originated in Geneva?

Participants: Philip Gourevitch (The New Yorker & author of The Ballad of Abu Ghraib), Colonel (ret.) Dick Jackson (Special Assistant for Law of War Matters for the U.S. Army), Roger Mayou (Director, Musée International de la Croix Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge), Gabor Rona (International Legal Director, Human Rights First)

Moderated by: Walter A. Füllemann (ICRC Head of Delegation to the UN)

Henry Dunant
Founder of the Red Cross

This panel discussion is presented in conjunction with Red Cross Month and will include a short video about Henry Dunant.

In partnership with the American Red Cross Headquarters (NY) and the Musée International de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge (Geneva)

Event Date & Time

Wednesday, March 7, 7P.M.


American Red Cross
520 West 49th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues)


Free and open to the public
RSVP required: