Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Respect for humanitarian law vital to minimising civilian suffering

James Kon

For over 20 years, Brunei Darussalam Red Crescent Society (BRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have been working together to promote international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles in the Sultanate.

Respect for international humanitarian law remains crucial to minimising civilian suffering, therefore BRC, ICRC and other Red Cross and Red Crescent movement partners work together and look forward to bringing the humanitarian partner for the Brunei Government and Brunei people in the future.

This was highlighted by Head of Operations and Prevention at the ICRC Martin De Boer at the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day 2022 and Presentation of Appreciation for Nation’s COVID-19 Heroes ceremony at the Goldstone Ballroom of Centrepoint Hotel in Gadong on Sunday.

He added that ICRC is thankful for its good collaboration with the BRC to support Brunei’s national vaccination programme to reach people who have limited movement or are bedridden.

De Boer added, “People helping each other in times of crisis is as old as humankind. However, it is worth reminding ourselves to be kind to other humans as wars and violence continue to rage all over the world as well as a pandemic that controlled our lives for more than two years and may have claimed as many as 15 millions deaths according to World Health Organization (WHO), with the effects of climate change and environmental degradation becoming ever more apparent, extreme and devastating, causing ever larger numbers of displaced and migrants.

“Pandemic has sped up the role of social media and new technologies in our lives but also comes with the potential dangers of misinformation and hate speech seeping into the common consciousness.”

Human kindness, he said, “can be in an organised manner, such as through the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, and its fundamental principles which are at the heart of everything we do, or ad hoc, helping others when a crisis happened”.

This year, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement reached its 159 years of existence.

As the biggest humanitarian network in the world, there are 192 national societies under the movement, including BRC, with its 14 million volunteers helping more than 100 million people in need each year.

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah presents BRC Gold Medal of Honor to Head of Operations and Prevention at the International Committee of the Red Cross Martin De Boer during the ceremony. PHOTO: JAMES KON