Etudes et essais sur le droit international humanitaire et sur les principes de la Croix-Rouge : en l'honneur de Jean Pictet = Studies and essays on international humanitarian law and Red Cross principles : in honour of Jean Pictet
Genève : CICR ; La Haye : Nijhoff, 1984
The author examines the moral validity of adherence to the international humanitarian law concept of neutrality by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations. The author argues that a commitment to neutrality runs counter to the growing legal and moral consensus that state aggression must be met with international solidarity and condemnation. In refusing to oppose oppressive state action, the International Committee of the Red Cross pragmatically chooses to maintain the confidence of parties to a conflict so as to ensure access for aid. Yet the author points out that the international community may see a refusal to condemn heinous state actions as a contradiction of the International Committee of the Red Cross’s commitment to humanitarian principles, which would actually undermine its credibility. The author notes that relief agencies of the United Nations often adopt a similar principle of neutrality and struggle with the moral dilemmas that accompany it. But the author argues that the concept of neutrality is essentially incompatible with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that proclaim human rights standards and compel action to bring about a more just and peaceful public order. [Summary by students at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law (IHRP)].