The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, paid a working visit to Luxembourg from 30 May to 1 June 2022.
This visit took place within the framework of the annual meeting of the members of the Donor Support Group (DSG) of the ICRC, which took place in Luxembourg from 31 May to 1 June 2022.
Peter Maurer's visit was also an opportunity to sign, together with Luxembourg's Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Franz Fayot, an agreement between the Grand Duchy and the ICRC on the establishment of the latter's first "Delegation for Cyberspace", to be based in Luxembourg. This Delegation for Cyberspace aims to provide a safe environment to explore and prepare the ground for the protection and deployment of digital services for humanitarian beneficiaries on a global scale. According to the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of Luxembourg's Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, this agreement reaffirms the partnership of trust between Luxembourg and the ICRC, which is one of the oldest and most important strategic partners of Luxembourg's humanitarian action.
The meeting between Peter Maurer and Franz Fayot also provided an opportunity to take stock of Luxembourg's commitment to the ICRC's mandate as a neutral player in increasingly complex crises, as well as the cooperation between Luxembourg and the ICRC in view of the latter's operations around the world and the multiple challenges facing the organisation, including digital transformation.
Peter Maurer and Franz Fayot also took part in the annual meeting of the DSG, which is a collective made up of the ICRC's main donors and of which Luxembourg has assumed the co-presidency for the 2021-2022 cycle. The DSG currently has 24 members. The annual meeting, which is the culminating event of each cycle, took place in the presence of the entire ICRC management, including Director-General Robert Mardini, and allowed members to discuss policies and key programming of the ICRC, as well as future priorities for humanitarian action, particularly in view of the growing number of crises around the world. It also provided an opportunity to take stock of the Luxembourg co-presidency before the torch was passed to Japan for the next cycle. This was Peter Maurer's last appearance at an annual meeting of the DSG as ICRC President; after ten years at the helm of the organisation, he will step down at the end of September 2022.
As part of his visit, Peter Maurer was also received by Luxembourg's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, for a working dinner. These discussions made it possible to take stock of Luxembourg's commitment to the activities of the ICRC. Minister Asselborn welcomed the collaboration between Luxembourg and the ICRC on topics such as digital transformation and data protection in humanitarian action. The head of Luxembourg's diplomacy also took the opportunity to thank Peter Maurer for his cooperation with Luxembourg for the benefit of the most vulnerable populations in a world marked by the multiplication and complexity of humanitarian crises.
More specifically, Luxembourg's Foreign Minister and the ICRC President discussed the humanitarian challenges in Ukraine. Minister Asselborn expressed his full support for humanitarian actions in Ukraine, whether carried out by the United Nations (UN) system, by national non-profit organisations or by the ICRC. The situation in Afghanistan, and the action undertaken there for a long time by the ICRC, just like in Ethiopia, with regard to the ceasefire in place, were other subjects raised.
During his Luxembourg visit, Peter Maurer was also received in audience by His Royal Highness the Grand Duke.
A meeting at the Chamber of Deputies (Luxembourg's parliament) with the Chairman of the Committee for Foreign and European Affairs, Cooperation, Immigration and Asylum, Yves Cruchten, was also on the agenda.