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Humanitarian negotiations: talking to the 'other side'

Time (GMT +01) 13:00 15:00
Hero image description: An ICRC delegate with a member of the SLA Image credit:ICRC/ HEGER, Boris / V-P-SD-E-0 1934 Image license:ICRC granted rights

Gerard Mc Hugh – President of Conflict Dynamics International

Pascal Bongard – Head of Operations, Geneva Call

Ashley Jackson – Research Fellow, Humanitarian Policy Group

Antonio Galli – Independent Consultant and former Access Analyst, UN Access Coordination Unit, Jerusalem


Nick Schifrin – ABC News Correspondent


In many contexts, negotiations with a wide array of actors – both state and non-state – are essential to gaining access to populations in need of humanitarian assistance. Yet negotiating with armed non-state actors (ANSAs) is complex and can present formidable challenges, including a lack respect for international humanitarian law (IHL), hostility to humanitarian principles and distrust and suspicion of humanitarian organisations.  In some situations, however, engagement can increase conflict parties’ understanding of and adherence to international law and improve security for those seeking to provide humanitarian aid.  

This event launches the 58th issue of the Humanitarian Exchange on humanitarian negotiations.  Drawing on research and their own field experience of undertaking humanitarian negotiations, panellists will discuss the challenges and compromises involved and the resources and tools that have been developed to support more effective engagement.

This is the first in a series of events on humanitarian negotiations. The next event, in October 2013, will focus on negotiations in Sudan. The series draws on recent Humanitarian Policy Group research on Humanitarian negotiations with armed non-state actors.

Refreshments will be available from 14:30 pm.