Conference on International Humanitarian law: opening speech by Louis Michel, Josep Borrell Fontelles, Member of the EP, Chair of the Committee on Development, and Thierry Cornillet, Member of the EP
End production: 16/09/2008 First transmission: 16/09/2008
The European Parliament held a conference on International Humanitarian law, on 16 September 2008, in Brussels. Louis Michel, Member of the EC in charge of Development and Humanitarian Aid, Josep Borrell Fontelles, Member of the EP, Chair of the Committee on Development, and Thierry Cornillet, Member of the EP, Standing Rapporteur on Humanitarian Aid, made opening speeches.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
|| Exterior view of the European Parliament in Brussels
|| Josep Borrell Fontelles, Member of the EP, Chair of the Committee on Development, (in FRENCH) saying that the EU is the biggest stakeholder when it comes to humanitarian aid and it is in its political interest to ensure that human rights are respected; the EU spends a lot of money on humanitarian aid and expends a lot of political energy too; sometimes they feel that they are just dressing the wounds but not actually dealing with the causes
|| Louis Michel, Member of the EC in charge of Development and Humanitarian Aid, (in FRENCH) on humanitarian organisations; asking if they are up to the task, because the complex nature of armed conflicts and the extent and diversity of humanitarian aid; saying that one organisation alone cannot deal with it adequately; coordination and cooperation have therefore become indispensable to make humanitarian action effective; harmonisation of approaches has also become indispensable;
saying that all we see more and more tolerance towards violation of human rights; those people who should guarantee human rights, he does not think that they object enough and constantly enough; the States have responsibilities there; they should encourage countries to create a culture of respect; it is not just up to the people involved in the conflict, it is everybody in the international community who under the Geneva Convention have committed themselves to ensuring the respect of human rights; whatever the cause of the war, that should always be exception and that does not absorb you of your obligations; in real life though, things are quite different;
|| Thierry Cornillet, Member of the EP, Standing Rapporteur on Humanitarian Aid, (in FRENCH) saying that humanitarian law is violated but apart from the people who suffer these violations the organisations which are responsible for humanitarian law find harder and harder to fulfil their missions and they are becoming targets; with that in mind he thinks that they need to change the way they deal with these organisations, perhaps by having a specific convention beyond the text which guarantee the protection of the individuals involved; the political aim is very clear: it is said that these attacks should be seen as war crimes with specific consequences whereby policies could be set up which would cover this kind of activity
|| Cutaways (9 shots)