The 32nd InternationalConference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent convened in Geneva on 8–10 December 2015. The first International Conference was held in 1867, and the States Parties to the Geneva Conventions and the components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement now meet regularly in this format every four years. While built on this strong tradition, the 32nd International Conference was in many ways a new event. In this interview Balthasar Staehelin, Deputy Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who oversees the organization of the Conference for the ICRC, tells us what was different about the Conference in 2015 and the progress achieved on the humanitarian issues addressed. Balthasar Staehelin joined the ICRC in 1993 and has served in the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans, and at Headquarters. From 2002 to 2006, he was Delegate-General for the Middle East and North Africa, overseeing all ICRC work in that region, including the operation in Iraq. He served as Deputy Director of Operations for Policy and Global Affairs from 2006 to 2008. In 2008, he left the ICRC to join the local government in Geneva, where he ran the department in charge of providing social welfare, housing, health and integration programmes for asylum-seekers and refugees. He returned to the ICRC in August 2012 to take up his current position. Mr Staehelin holds a master’s degree in history, English literature and constitutional law from the University of Basel, Switzerland.