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Humanitarian Diplomacy

  • Elise RousseauEmail author
  • Achille Sommo Pende
Chapter
Part of the The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy book series (SPIRP)

Abstract

The chapter starts by defining “humanitarian diplomacy” as the set of activities undertaken by various actors with governments, (para)military organizations, or personalities in order to intervene or push intervention in a context where humanity is in danger. The “imperative of humanity,” which is the recognition that the other—whoever s/he may be—is a human being whose dignity deserves to be protected, is then presented as the foundation of humanitarian diplomacy. More precisely, we show how this imperative relies on a range of principles that may be found in the instruments of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The chapter ends with a thorough presentation of the main actors of humanitarian diplomacy and their practices. We start by describing the particular position of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and then we turn to NGOs, states, and international organizations. We show that while most of these actors implement humanitarian diplomacy principles and actions on a daily basis, without even being aware of it, others, such as the ICRC, are at the forefront of this field and even offer positions of “humanitarian diplomats.”

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NamurNamurBelgium

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