The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Centre for Military and Security Law (CMSL) at the Australian National University are pleased to convene a debate on military involvement in providing humanitarian assistance in conflict zones.

What are the implications for neutrality and independence when humanitarian action is conducted by militaries in situations of armed conflict? Are militaries more effective and efficient at delivering aid than humanitarian organisations? Does it matter if the lines are blurred between military, political and humanitarian activities?

Please join us to hear lively discussion and argument between two dynamic teams on the question: Should militaries be involved in providing humanitarian assistance during conflict?

Arguing for the affirmative:

  • Melissa Conley Tyler, National Executive Director of the Australian Institute for International Affairs
  • Dr Ned Dobos, Assistant Regional Director of the International Society for Military Ethics, Asia-Pacific Division

Arguing for the negative:

  • Prof William Maley, Professor of Diplomacy at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy
  • Dr Mike Kelly, former minister for defence materiel and retired Colonel in the Australian Defence Force

Moderated by: Vincent Bernard, head of the ICRC Forum for Law and Policy in Geneva.



What: “Blurred Boundaries: Militaries, Humanitarian Action and Neutrality”, a debate convened by ICRC and CMSL, ANU. This event is part of the Research and Debate Cycle on Principles Guiding Humanitarian Action

When: 04 November 2015, 6:00pm (for 6:30pm)


The debate will be livestreamed and a recording will also be made available after the event.