Geneva/Beijing (ICRC) – Mirjana Spoljaric, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), concluded a four-day visit to China on Thursday.
News release 08 September 2023

President Spoljaric met with the President of China, Xi Jinping, who commended the humanitarian work carried out by the ICRC over the past 160 years. President Spoljaric acknowledged China’s growing role in humanitarian affairs globally, and the weight of China’s voice calling for the respect of international humanitarian law during armed conflicts. She expressed ICRC’s willingness to further deepen cooperation with China.

President Spoljaric also met with Luo Zhaohui, Chairman of China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), Li Baodong, Secretary-General of Bo’ao Forum for Asia (BFA), and Chen Zhu, President of the Red Cross Society of China. They exchanged on a wide range of topics and fields of cooperation.

The ICRC president also spoke at the 49th Florence Nightingale Award Ceremony where she congratulated seven Chinese nurses who won the award this year and paid tribute to the dedication, professionalism and courage of Chinese nurses and medical staff in China and globally. She also inaugurated a photo exhibition in Beijing to mark the 160th anniversary of the ICRC and the broader International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.

President Spoljaric concluded her visit with a keynote speech at Soochow University organized by the International Academy of Red Cross and Red Crescent where she emphasized the interconnectedness between compliance with international humanitarian law and peace. She also spoke to ways that the ICRC can contribute to the goal of peace in its role as a neutral intermediary by helping maintain channels of communication between parties.

“Every time we reaffirm the requirements of the law of armed conflict, we at the same time reaffirm our common humanity,” she said in her remarks. “Seeing the equal worth of individuals and communities is foundational for peace. It is my hope and motivation that the body of law the ICRC is mandated to safeguard makes some contribution to this higher purpose.”

About the ICRC

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a neutral, impartial and independent organization with an exclusively humanitarian mandate that stems from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. It helps people around the world affected by armed conflict and other violence, doing everything it can to protect their lives and dignity and to relieve their suffering, often alongside its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners.