On 24 May 2016 at the World Humanitarian Summit, ICRC President Peter Maurer gave a speech in which he called on parties to armed conflict to translate existing commitments into concrete action to protect and alleviate the suffering of those affected by armed conflicts around the world.

The dangerously large gap between discourse and practice around [international humanitarian law] must be closed. The crumbling consensus of belligerents around the law must be halted,” Maurer stated.

He called on parties to conflict to “do something against it, with all your authority and power. Do not take the easy way out by declaring all civilian victims collateral damage”.

Maurer concluded by reminding the audience that “commitments must be followed by concrete actions and a profound change of behaviour on all sides. The people suffering in wars deserve nothing less than actions that will protect their lives and dignity.”

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